Pop quiz. What does the number 168 represent? Any idea? This is how many hours there are in a week. Now think of another number - the amount of money you earn each week. Got it?
Time and money. These are the primary (and limited) resources we have to live the life we choose. Some of our time is pre-determined week by week; it is already “spent”. This may include sleeping, working, going to school, commuting, kid’s activities, etc. We also know that some portion of our money is already “spent” - on a mortgage (or lease), car payment, clothing, food, utilities, child care, etc. In the short term, we can’t make significant changes to the time and money we are already committed to, so the conversation we’d like to encourage you to have this month is about the uncommitted portion of your time and money. How do you spend it?
The choices we make regarding how we spend our time and money say a lot about what we value most, so if we’re really honest with ourselves, it is probably worth taking a moment to look at how consistent and diligent we are about how we consume (spend) our precious, limited resources. Would you agree?
How much time do you spend killing time –watching “unhealthy” TV, scanning your smartphone apps, etc.? Where do you spend your uncommitted money each week, each month? Would you like to know? Here’s an idea to consider. Take a look at the calendar and banking apps on your smartphone (or your checkbook if you use that). If you record your important activities on your calendar, you’ll quickly see how much time is not scheduled (what about fitting in a workout, or reading a book, or calling a good friend from years ago – to reengage a personal relationship). If you aggregate your spending into categories (grocery shopping, entertainment [eating out, movies, etc.] car maintenance, etc.) you’ll begin to realize where your money goes.
We challenge you to try this once a week for a month. What does it tell you about how you spent your time and money? What does it say about what you value most? If a stranger only had these two items to learn about you – what would they conclude about your value system? May there be room for improvement?
If you do this weekly for a month and realize how you actually spend your resources it will create awareness. With this information you can then choose to change if you see better opportunities for yourself (and/or your family). As with most experiences, making wiser choices can make for a happier life.