Time Is Money: Budget Them Both Out
Everyone always says Time is Money—but how many of us really treat our time the same way we treat (or are supposed to treat) our money? Most of us have no problem throwing time away in ways we would never do with our money.
This is something I've been thinking about for a while now. I recently bought Fallout 3 for the new computer I just saved up for, and I noticed it just sat in its box for a few days before I even got a chance to install it.
When I was young, the whole world froze when I bought a new game—I didn't need food and I didn't need anything other than to play my brand-new game. But times change. You get a job, you get married, and your time starts to get filled for you—there isn't a whole of down time. In order to play my game, I had to find a place in my schedule for it.
"Let's pencil Fallout for Saturday, Susie"
I know it sounds weird, but that's what needed to be done because I wasn't finding any free time. Think about it: when was the last time you were sitting on the couch asking yourself what you should do next? Remember how often that happened when you were a kid? Now there's always something: work, TV, blogging, exercising, etc. Before you know it, it's time to go to bed and do it all over again tomorrow.
In order to get anything done, we have to budget our time the same way we budget our money. Which most of us probably do already when we have to get something done for work or pay a bill—but that stuff is no fun. I'm talking about your equivalent of playing a brand-new videogame. Your Fallout time.
You don't just spend all your money as you make it, do you? We have to think ahead to the things we want to get done and make sure we have time scheduled for it—just like budgeting for a new computer. That doesn't mean playing a videogame is a waste of time any more than spending money on a videogame is a waste of money. You're spending "play money" so you should have some "play time" too.
If we think of our time this way, it's easy to break down the two categories of time and make sure we budget for them:
That's right: this is where most of the stuff is going to go. Time for work, time to eat, time to hang out with family, etc. These are the things you have to do. Just like we have to spend money on rent, electricity, and all our other bills—there is time that has to be filled with certain things. I don't think most of us will have a problem with this because needs often force themselves on our schedule. When was the last time you had to "fit" work into your schedule? It's more likely you had to adjust everything else to fit into your work schedule.
I know—I wish it wasn't that way either.
This is the fun stuff. It may sound like a waste of time to some people, but here is where you cordon off a couple of hours to play Fallout 3, to read a book, to go for a walk outside, to work out, or to just take a nap if you've had a long day. Don't feel guilty about spending your time doing what you want just because it doesn't sound productive. Just like you can't spend ALL your money on bills every month (don't forget about your "play money"), you can't expect yourself to spend every minute of every day doing something "productive."
You need to blow some steam off, and guess what the perfect way to do that is? Fallout 3.
OK, I gotta get back to my game...these feral dogs are starting to really get to me.
This post was included in the Carnival of Personal Development