Thursday, 24 July 2014

Spending time... are you investing it well?

I love that phrase 'spending time'. It makes so much sense (or cents!) How often do we stop our constant doing-ness to consider if we are spending our time well? I know I don't do it often enough, however it occurred to me this evening that I really need to stop and think about it seriously.

Today I went out to work on a neat wee project, doing some filming with some folks I used to do some work for. It was a fun day out and I was lucky that my mum was able to look after our little boy. This evening I had to attend a meeting and my little boy was less than impressed that mummy was leaving again. The meeting was not particularly pleasant to be honest and as I drove home I started asking myself some big questions, the biggest being, was that a good use of my time?

I am lucky, there are many opportunities I am exposed to and I want to say YES to them all. However if I do that I find that I am actually unable to do them all justice and something suffers, usually my own wellbeing... this is an old treadmill I have been on and not an experience I wish to repeat yet again. So tonight as I was driving I did some maths, I am sure that many others have done this before me and probably far more eloquently but just in case here is some of my thinking.

There are 1440 minutes in a day. Now lawyers and accountants (and other businesses too I am sure) charge out their time in blocks of minutes. Imagine if in our lives every minute was worth $100. (please note: I chose a round number because maths isn't a strength of mine and it's a big lot of money because I think it helps to demonstrate a significant 'value' for our time) That's a lot of money in itself really but wait.... at that rate our time is worth $6000 per hour or $144 000 per day... wow, that is a whole lot of money. What would you do if you have $144 000 to spend?

If I had $144 000 to spend I would want to give some to my family, use it to help others, do what I could to be healthy and invest in my learning probably. Those things are important to me, so they'd be top of the list anyway. The disconnect comes when I look at how I have spent a day and I have not addressed those things in the measures I would like and worse still when I feel that the time I have had has been poorly used, taken for granted or wasted. Tonight for a short time I felt really angry but then I needed to think about what I was giving up to feel angry (see my post about being as big as you dare to be for more information about this type of mindfulness) and I also started to equate it to a dollar amount.

For every minute spent angry that is $100 worth of time gone that could have been spent with my family or in my learning or helping others. And if I spend half a day angry then I have wasted $77 000 worth of my time that could have been better spent on other things including investing wisely in my own health.
The same applies for screen time. Entertainment is great for our health, but it is all about balance and I know TV and other technologies are easy time thieves.

You see I just don't spend money like that, I am more conscious of what I do with my money, but I do let time slip through my fingers and wonder where another day has gone. I know it's normal that there will be days like that at times but I wonder what would happen if we were more aware and thought about where we are investing our time and whether we are really investing in our goals and the important things/people in our lives.

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