Time is the coin of life, so spend it wisely.
I saw this astute little saying on a billboard by the road when I was heading home from work one day. A few local businesses use their billboard space for this type of uplifting observation, as do some churches, although they do it with a more spiritual spin. Most of these postings are amusing but forgettable, yet this one struck me because it had a bit of wisdom to it.
The time we have available to us is a limited resource. There will never be more than 60 minutes to each hour, 24 hours to each day, and seven days to each week – and you only get one lifetime! You can’t add to that in any way, and you must also give up some time for work, sleep and other things.
Time is like your paycheck. With both, you get a set amount, but you’re not free to spend it entirely as you wish. Even before payday, your creditors are expecting to be paid, and you have other obligations like a mortgage, utilities, and daily living expenses that cost you the money you earned.
After you’ve paid these bills, you can think about what to do with the rest of your money. After you’ve worked, attended to your family, and taken care of your other duties, you make choices about what to do with the rest of your day.
However, it’s just then that you run up against another reality – spending time on one choice reduces time available for other choices.
Think about your time like a dedicated bargain shopper thinks about her money – she wants the most bang for her buck! Clarify what your values and goals are, and jealously guard your available hours and minutes. Don’t commit yourself to anything that isn’t necessary or doesn’t further your goals, including your goal to get the most enjoyment out of life.
Another way is to think like an investor that considers an array of stocks and uses his savvy to figure out which will give him the greatest return on his investment. He approaches his choices with shrewdness, thoughtfulness, and his eyes fixed on the goal of maximizing the use of the resources he has available.
There are people that have long to-do lists, some of whom can’t set limits with others, some whom can’t set limits for themselves. Neither of these types thinks proactively guided by priorities, goals and values to keep them on track to get what matters most. And they aren’t realistic, which is why they end up trying to do too much.
Is that you? Are you proactive, in charge of your life, and defining a direction for yourself that is moving you closer to a life that is fulfilling and purposeful? Or are you side-tracked, wanting something different and questioning if it can really happen?
Maybe you should think like that bargain hunter or that investor. Either way, start spending your time wisely!