My life has been feeling hectic lately. I’ve been busy, but I’m not feeling aligned or fulfilled, just busy. I tried to make a plan, make a schedule, and stick to it, but life happens and I’m not sure how to prevent it. Or, actually, if I want to prevent it. I like being fluid and being able to roll with the punches, but I feel like I lose precious time all the time. It’s stressful and unhappy-making.
For example, the other day I decided to sleep in. I slept til 10a, then I exercised, showered, and started the laundry. Finally, I sat down to write. And it was 12:30p. I felt like I filled about an hour, but I lost two and a half hours! I lost my entire morning. And I felt unhappy, grumpy, and frustrated.
Pace and I have been working on a system that fills all the gaps in our financial budget. We’re plugging any leaks, because we want to account for every penny. We want to know where all our money goes.
This is nothing new – hundreds and probably thousands and possibly even millions of people count every penny to make sure they know where it all goes. No one likes to lose money.
But what about time?
For me, time is even more precious than money. We can take out a loan at a bank if I need more money, we can have a sale on something, we can create a new and wonderful product. There are lots of ways for us to bring money into our lives. But time? There are no time banks. I can’t get more time. I can’t take out a time loan or create a new and wonderful product to give me two extra hours a day. Once I use time, it’s gone.
But I don’t protect my time as fiercely as I protect my money. In my life, I’ve seen both squandered left and right. I’ve seen people spend thousands of dollars in days and have nothing to show for it. Hells, I’ve spent thousands of dollars in days and had nothing to show for it. I’ve had to learn some hard money lessons. I’ve had to reset my money mindset.
And now I’m looking at time. I want to reset my time mindset. I want to be as fierce about where I put my time as I am about where I put my money. When I lose time, I’m just as frustrated as I am when I lose money – and often, even more so, because of the nature of time. But I also don’t want to feel like a time miser. I don’t want to micromanage myself and eke out my life by planning every single moment of every single day. I can count my pennies, but I don’t want to count my seconds. It would drive me insane right quick-like.
There must be a balance. I want to find a system to help me guard my time, to help me make sure I get to the big things that I’m really passionate about instead of spending two hours piddling around on the internet and then realizing I don’t have time left to write or have that morning walk with my son. I need a big-rock management system so I don’t fill my rock-jar with sand and then flip out because my rocks are missing.
I’m not sure what it is yet, I’m not sure what I’ll do or find. But I am sure of this: our time is precious. We have a limited amount of it here, alive, and we often feel like we’ve got forever. But we don’t. And it’s high time I start acting like it.