Sunday, October 18, 2009

Time is more precious than money.

It's not (just) about the money ...

We live in a futuristic paradise of plentiful food, amazing technology, cheap housing, advanced education and shorter workweeks than any other century.

And yet so many people are almost never happy. Why? Because they don't really think through what they do with their time. Time is finite, it is precious and it is irrevocable. You can't bank it and spend it later.

A certain amount of time must be spent sleeping, and for most of us working is a must-do, too. By the time you include basic household chores, there isn't much time for anything else. So what should you be doing with the rest of your time?

What you want to do with it.

That's not as easy as it sounds. Imagine if you decided you wanted to cook something and just started grabbing whatever ingredients were in front of you. That'd be a lot easier than following a recipe carefully, but the result wouldn't be nearly as good. The same goes with our time.

What do most of us do when we've run out of things we have to do? We "veg out." Idle website clicking, idle TV watching. There's nothing wrong with TV watching, but it should be reserved for something you really want to see.

Have you ever sat down and thought about what you enjoy doing with your time? Here are three things I enjoy doing that I never did until I finally made a point to just do them:

1) Learning to cook. I started with a simple, delicious homemade bread recipe, and now my arsenal is pretty large, including a wicked made-from-scratch pizza that is cheap and fantastic.

2) Joining a curling league.

3) Blogging

None of those things are as easy as plopping in front of a TV. Cooking means making a commitment to shop for ingredients, and once you've started you are committed to a certain amount of time without turning back. I had to plan my workweek around getting Tuesdays off for curling. But I enjoy those activities a lot more than I do getting worked up over whatever stupid thing the cable "news" channels are trying to convince me of.

Make a log of your time. What do you spend it on each week? What are the optional activities you get the least enjoyment out of, and how much time do you spend on them? What activity would you enjoy more that could replace those least-valuable hours?

Your time is your most valuable asset. Don't waste it.

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