How to Spend Your Time Wisely
As early as they can, our parents start to ingrain in us the importance of making a living, saving money and bringing in the doe so that we can pay the bills and live a somewhat satisfying life along the way. And while their intentions are good, money isn’t the resource that we should really be focusing on.
So much of our time is wasted pursuing goals or tasks that aren’t our own. But we have a hard time seeing that because our beliefs about what is important are ingrained in us from a very early age. Noticing these beliefs and making a shift to focus on the things that really matter to YOU is what will determine if you lead a fulfilled life or not. And today I want to focus on the resource that all of us use on a regular basis but is much less appreciated than it should be. But before we get to that, let’s talk a little more about resources.
What is a Resource Exactly?
Any time we run into a problem when trying to complete a project or make a decision, it’s typically because of a lack of resources. A resource is simply something or someone you can utilize in order to help you achieve whatever you’re after (this isn’t Websters definitely, but I imagine it’s pretty darn close).
For instance, if you’re trying to lose 20lbs, you’ll need a few things to help you along the way. On a basic level, some general knowledge about what it takes to lose 20lbs is a great place to start. That is a resource. On the next level, having a gym to go to in order to get your fitness on will be imperative. Yet another resource. And finally, at the highest level, having a persona fitness coach tell you what to do, how to do, and when to do it would get you to you 20lb goal efficiently and effectively. Yup, you coach is a resource.
The resource that is most adored in our society is money. Money is adored because of the things it can buy and the (perceived) ease of life it brings. And money is certainly an important resource to have. The level of which you have money and should pursue it depends on what you expect out of life and of yourself (but this is another story for another day).
Here is where it is important for me to make another distinction. Within the resources of life, we have renewable resources and non-renewable resources. Renewable resources are, well, renewable. They are able to be replenished. Food is a renewable resource. Your coach is a renewable resource (only if their mediocre. A great coach should be non-renewable).
I bring this point up because money is a renewable resource, but most of us don’t treat it as such. Most of us treat money as non-renewable. We make career decisions based on this thought process. We make family decisions based on this thought process. And when you start to make decisions because you believe that money is non-renewable, then happiness goes down and misery goes up.
Focus on the Ultimate Non-Renewable Resource
Now I don’t make this point because I believe that money is evil and that you should purely focused on happiness and fulfillment through nature. I enjoy money and I want more of it. Money should be used as a tool. You should be using money, not letting money use you.
But, more importantly, focusing on money brings you away from a non-renewable resource that should be ultimately dear to you…and that is your TIME.
Yes, believe it or not, time is a non-renewable resource. Many of us want to overlook that fact because we are in denial that our time will come to an end on this planet at some point. But we also overlook it because we are more focused on other things, such as making money.
What you spend your time on should be held to the highest priority. Every time you decide to binge watch a TV show on Netflix, you’re deciding to not spend time with your family or to build your side-hustle business or to enrich your relationship with your friends. Any time you’re making a decision to do one thing, you’re also making a decision to NOT do a thousand other things.
Now, I know what you’re thinking, if there are thousands upon thousands of things I could be doing, then how in world do I decide what to do? Well, that’s a simple answer. All you have to do is answer a few questions…
How to Know What to Spend Your Time On
Like I said, the answer to the above question is pretty simple. Getting to that answer may not be as easy. There are 3 questions that you can ask yourself in order to know if what you’re spending your time on is actually getting you to where you want to go in life. Answering these 3 questions requires some thinking. Actually, it requires more than thinking. It requires some serious introspection.
Here are the 3 questions that you can answer to figure out what decisions you need to start to make or continue to make to improve your life:
#1) What’s You Purpose?
This seems like a simple question because it’s so short. But don’t let it fool you. Understanding your purpose will help guide every decision that you make. Your purpose is the reason that you believe you are on this planet. My purpose is to help as many people as I can become as healthy and vital as they can be.
Every decision that I make is based on this purpose. If someone comes to be and wants to open a candy store, I’m not in because it doesn’t follow my purpose.
#2) What Are Your Values?
We’ve all heard about company or corporate values (most of which are just lip service, but, again, another story). Company values are imperative to holding structure and making sure that everyone is on the same page when working with customers.
You should have your set of values as well. This doesn’t have to be an extensive list, maybe 5–7 values. These are simply traits that you believe are important in life. A couple of mine, for instance, are constant-never-ending improvement, honesty & integrity, and authenticity.
A good way to figure out your values is to write down 10 characteristics that bother you the most, then find the opposite of those characteristics.
#3) What Are Your Passions?
No, I don’t mean sexual passions. Get your head out of the gutter. What are you truly passionate about? If you love video games, the world might tell you (and by world I mean friends and family) that there is no future in video games. But if this is you and you’re working as a bank teller because of outside pressure, your life is miserable.
Maybe you don’t know what your passionate about yet, and that’s okay. Keep trying things until you find something. A passion isn’t necessarily something you’re meant to do. Believing that there’s something that you’re meant to do (play violin, be an accountant, be a veterinarian) is like believing in soul mates. Statistically speaking, neither one makes sense.
If you know your purpose (helping people, being creative, saving animals) then you have an abundance of ways to achieve that purpose.
Now, I don’t give you this list of questions so you can read them and ponder them briefly. I expect you to sit down and write out the answers to all 3 of the questions. Take time to think through your answers. Be introspective, not just surface level. And when you’re finished or if you’re stuck, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to hear what you have to say.