I used to take time for granted, especially during my years at University. Spending it frivolously on what did not contribute to my happiness, goals or relationships.
Mentally checked out of school, waiting to start my career. Letting some of my best years and opportunities slip by without notice. I didn’t take ownership or spend my time effectively.
But everything we experience makes us who we are. And that period revealed to me something essential about the value of time.
Where did all my time go?
Do you ever find time slipping away? You might see it day to day, with your family, friends or at work. Or on the grander scale; how long you’ve been with your partner, in your job, or out of school.
Time is constant and is always moving forward. It stops for nobody, regardless of your education, job title, location or net worth.
It is our most limited resource and comes with an expiration date. Yet, most don’t take into account the value of time as much as we should.
Because you cannot control what you are not aware of. If you don’t know where you’re spending your time, how can you improve it?
If you’re ashamed to share your screen time results with a friend or colleague, you might need to re-evaluate your value of time.
Time doesn’t slip away, but it can go by without notice. Or, it can be in your control.
The value of time
It makes a difference when you begin to think about the minutes and hours that pass by as MY TIME.
In the past, I rated my value of time very low. Playing poker 20 hours a week at a near losing rate, binge-watching television or stuck in front of the PS4 playing NHL or Call of Duty.
Carelessly wasting the value of time I had at my disposal.
Only when I began to take ownership of my time did I see a transformation. I learned to be responsible and aware of where I spent it each and every day.
Like a financial investment, when used properly time can generate exponential returns. Learning to prioritize MY TIME above other people’s demands of it.
Demands on your time
You control your time, and where you spend, it is entirely up to you.
You may have a family to take care of, a boss to keep satisfied and friends to keep in touch with. Nevertheless, your time is still in your control, but will always be in demand.
It’s up to you to manage those demands. To prioritize what you seek to achieve by where you spend your time.
Like the CEO of a company, you must decide where your resources are best allocated.
Indecision is still a decision. Avoid at all costs passing unconscious time. That is time wasted, spent frivolously and unknowingly.
Conscious time is in your control. Is this worth my time?
Conscious time is set with intention. Where, when and how will I spend it?
The best spent time is expensed with purpose in a meaningful direction.
That doesn’t mean you cannot devote consciously to wasting time. The mistake is letting wasted time pass you by unknowingly, creating unconscious time.
Where to go from here
Time is taken for granted and can go by without notice. A constant value, which turns the future into the present and then into the past.
I now understand the true value of time as a limited resource. Being self-aware of where I spent it and what I’m looking to get in return.
Whether it’s to increase my productivity, develop my skills, make new friends, take care of my well-being, invest in my business, or catch up on rest.
Investing MY TIME wisely by prioritizing the demands of personal, family, social and work life.
Expending conscious time in a purposeful direction.
For this week’s habit challenge, keep track of your time daily for a week. Use an excel sheet, or print out a timetable and create awareness around where you spend most of your time.
You might be surprised to find out how long you spend; eating, cooking, cleaning, in transit, attending meetings, socializing, watching TV or on your phone. Try using an app to track your phone time for the week.
The goal is to understand where your time is being spent and determine if it’s contributing to the results you desire.
I’ve personally noticed a significant amount of time wasted with what I call in-between time. Moments in-between meetings, phone calls, reports, tasks etc.
By minimizing my in-between time, I’ve been able to significantly improve my productivity and use the extra time for leisure.
Tracking provides tangible results and can help make you aware of changes you can make. Spend this week tracing your days (on the weekend too) and see where time might be slipping you by.