Spending time versus using time
Many of us are well acquainted with the old adage “use your time wisely.” While it is good to use your time wisely, there is a better strategy for time—spending your time wisely. I am all for good; however, if better is available, then I will take it!
The notion of spending puts time in the perspective of a budget, which is where it should be. Time is no respecter of persons, meaning time does not play favorites. Regardless of race, religion, gender, class, or socio-economic status, we all get 168 hours of freshly minted time to spend each week.
I recommend creating a time budget, as I started a number of years ago. My time budget consists of a time bank and a time block. My time bank is a repository where I record my weekly ACH deposit of 168 hours, and then name each hour as I plug them into my expense categories (sleep, fitness, leisure, family, serving others, et cetera). Side note: I purposely don’t have a “work” expense, because I have “worked” very hard to achieve getting paid for the things that I love to do in service to others. This makes me more fulfilled and more effective in helping others to step into their best version of themselves.
In addition, time is either an employer or an employee—there is no in between. You either employ time, or it employs you. You either work for time, or it works for you. By default, without a proper understanding of how time works, you will end up working for time. And how unproductive is that!
Just like you will most certainly misspend your dollars by not having a financial budget, you will be more certain than not to misspend your hours by not having a time budget. Once you have created your vision (your outcome for your life), you want to invest those hours in the things that you are “saving for”; thereby, investing your time wisely in your vision, mission, and goals. In other words, planning for and investing in your purpose of who you were called to be, and what you were called to do.
By assigning every hour a name or designation, you shore up your outlook by eliminating or greatly reducing time leaks, which are notorious thieves in stealing time, and take little pieces out of your destiny. Just like when you spend (or misspend) a dollar, and you can never get that same dollar back, you can never get back each hour, once you spend it. So, spend wisely. Also, as you step into each category, and spend those associated hours, you should begin to feel better about the time you are spending while gleaning richer experiences along the way.
Once you have created your time bank, you are ready to create your time block, which is a block schedule of your expendable time. This is a visual representation of your linear time bank. For those of you who attempted or survived college, think of the way many of us took our printed line-itemized schedules, and created a block schedule so we actually knew where we needed to be!
King Solomon, the wisest and richest man who ever lived, penned these words: “Cast your bread upon the waters, for you will find it after many days” (Ecclesiastes 11:1). In this context, what you are casting, is what you are directing, spending, and sending forth. How you “cast” your time, with the effort put forth, will determine the condition in which you find your outcome. So cast your time wisely, family, for it indeed is more precious than gold, and more valuable than money. But more importantly, you were meant for a purpose that time will tell, by which you get to invest in the storyline.