Last Sunday one of our Church leaders mentioned that we need to budget our time just like we budget our money. He said that we all have different incomes but everyone has 24 hours in a day.
As I was pondering this, I realized that with both money and time, we use it differently, no matter what the amount. When two people get $1000, they spend it differently. I often go to the store and see people blowing my whole monthly budget on beer, Doritos and cigarettes. And that's their choice. I guess it serves their needs/wants. Mine are not the same.
So it is with time. I bet all of you have heard the debate between working and stay at home Moms. We all use our time differently. Some of us are single and working two jobs, others go to school, some homeschool and do cloth diapers, the list goes on and on...And there are some amazing Moms who do all of the above (and no...I'm not one of them:) I'm far from being a perfect Mom!!).
The other day I had a conversation with my mother. Due to a bad job market, she was forced to stay at home with us (VERY unusual for Russia) when I was little. But even then she sometimes worked 12-hour shifts sewing from home for her clients. Now she works for a great company but occasionally has 12-hour shifts too. Her time usage is still the same but how she uses it is different. Also when we talked, my Mom mentioned that it's so much easier to clean the house now that they are empty nesters. There is just nobody there to make a mess:)
But going back to "budgeting" your time. I noticed that a lot of things we apply to money, also work with how we use time. I wanted to look at a couple of them right now.
ORGANIZE YOUR TIME. Just like with money, if we want to achieve our goals (even if it's just to find time to clean a bathroom), we need to know where every minute goes. One of my elderly friends once told me that if I spent 15 minutes of every hour cleaning, my house would always be clean. Isn't that amazing advice? I'm still working on it. I don't clean every 45 minutes, unfortunately, but I try to have a system or routine. If we knew where every minute goes, we would be surprised. Every day I make a to-do list. But a couple of weeks ago, I tried to make every minute count. I wrote down what I wanted to achieve at every hour of the day. I was amazed at how much I was able to do during those days. But it wasn't easy :). I'm pretty sure I didn't read as many pages in my book as I wanted to:) But I was also amazed at how much time I waste daily too. Organizing our life helps to organize our time and spend it doing what we want to do.
GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK. It's important and much needed to occasionally treat yourself even when you are on a very tight budget or trying to get out of debt. Same with time. You need to have some time just for yourself, to relax, to exercise, to smell the roses, to enjoy solitude or, vise versa, spend time with friends. It helps us to have a more balanced life and to take care of ourselves. Because nobody will do it for us!
PRIORITIZE. You can never say enough about prioritizing when you spend your money. Unless you are Kim Kardashian and get paid just for your... smile, you need to be wise with how you spend every single hard-earned dollar. I believe it applies to "spending" time too. There are things/people in our life that are our first priority. Nothing can be more important. But there are also less important things, and it's important to use every minute wisely and decide where our priorities lie.
SHARE. There are situations when we need to share what we have and earn with those in need. But we can also be charitable with our time. It gives me so much satisfaction when I spend time helping and serving others. And there are lots of people who need our help, support or it could be just a phone call to a friend who needs some extra support (yes, Cindy, I mean you :) You can truly make a difference in someone's life. Find time for what is truly important.
There are many times when budgeting our time is a lot more important than any amount of money in the world. In conclusion, I wanted to share this story with you (for more stories like this, check out www.inspirationalarchive.com)
A man came home from work late again, tired and irritated, to find
his 5 year old son waiting for him at the door. “Daddy, may I ask you a
“Yeah, sure, what is it?” replied the man.
“Daddy, how much money do you make an hour?
“That’s none of your business! What makes you ask such a thing?” the man said angrily.
“I just want to know. Please tell me, how much do you make an hour?” pleaded the little boy.
“If you must know, I make $20.00 an hour.”
“Oh,” the little boy replied, head bowed. Looking up, he said, “Daddy, may I borrow $10.00 please?”
The father was furious. “If the only reason you wanted to know how
much money I make is just so you can borrow some to buy a silly toy or
some other nonsense, then you march yourself straight to your room and
go to bed. Think about why you’re being so selfish. I work long, hard
hours everyday and don’t have time for such childish games.”
The little boy quietly went to his room and shut the door. The man
sat down and started to get even madder about the little boy’s
questioning. How dare him ask such questions only to get some money.
After an hour or so, the man had calmed down, and started to think he
may have been a little hard on his son. Maybe there was something he
really needed to buy with that $10.00, and he really didn’t ask for
money very often. The man went to the door of the little boy’s room and
opened the door. “Are you asleep son?” he asked.
“No daddy, I’m awake,” replied the boy.
“I’ve been thinking, maybe I was too hard on you earlier,” said the
man. “It’s been a long day and I took my aggravation out on you. Here’s
that $10.00 you asked for.”
The little boy sat straight up, beaming. “Oh, thank you daddy!” he
yelled. Then, reaching under his pillow, he pulled out some more
crumpled up bills. The man, seeing that the boy already had money,
started to get angry again. The little boy slowly counted out his money,
then looked up at the man.
“Why did you want more money if you already had some?” the father grumbled.
“Because I didn’t have enough, but now I do,” the little boy replied.
“Daddy, I have $20.00 now. Can I buy an hour of your time?”...
Be wise with your time as much as you try to be wise with your money, and not just your life will be happier but you will also be a blessing for someone else's life, and more than you can ever imagine...