Today I would like to talk about why time is one of your most valuable resources. While both time and money are valuable resources, if I had to choose, I would choose time because we can always make more. We can’t make more time. We might be able to leverage it a little, but time is a finite resource – we simply cannot print more time or take out a job that pays us in minutes and hours. This means being aware of who’s in control of this finite resource, whether it’s you or others, is absolutely crucial to you maximizing this resource.
Take a moment to think about it: who’s controlling your time?
I have previously written about cultivating adaptability in the face of challenges, but now let’s look at where there could be leakage in your time. If you can be aware of this, then you will have more time with which to do the things that you really want to and that are of your choice.
You read the title: if we’re going to talk about stealing time, we have to talk about television. Many people go on about how awful television is, and there’s a fair degree of truth to that. But I enjoy watching TV. It’s part of my relaxation process that I want to chill down in the evening.
What’s more, TV is actually very flexible now, very adaptable. You can record it, you can fast forward through it, you can download films and episode and watch it any time. You do not need to be controlled by the television. TV can be something that you introduce into your plan as part of your happy. For example, if what you want to do on a day off is binge watch a series, that’s perfectly fine – but it must be your choice. Don’t let the writers compel how you choose to spend your time, because if you watch these programs, you know for a fact that they make the ending exciting so you have to keep watching.
Keep in mind as well that TV is also a mood-stealer, so you need to be aware of what you are watching as much as when you are watching and how much you are watching. You could choose to watch nonstop cable news or binge on soap operas like East Enders, or you could choose programs that relax you, educate you or uplift you. I personally like Modern Family as if covers important topics but in a lighthearted and empathetic way. Other good options include documentaries, nature programs and inspiring or feel-good films.
To recap: I am not telling you to stop watching television; television can be very valuable and it can be a way to relax and unwind on your time off. Be mindful of why you are watching, how much time you are spending and what kinds of things you are taking in. This will allow you to retain control over your time, but also your thoughts and moods.
No matter how you spend your leisure time, I have found that rigid flexibility, as I like to call it, makes for a wealthier more successful life. Rigid flexibility is when you have a plan and an outline – for example, your happiness planner – where you’ve mapped out all the “happy” that you want to have, but you’re still flexible and adaptable so that if something doesn’t go quite right or isn’t quite where you want it, you can move it around. You will achieve your goals step by step but you are not going to let setbacks stop you. And remember: happiness is a goal.
Yes, there are responsibilities in our lives and there are things that we have to do, but don’t forget to program in things that make you happy rather than filling your calendar with obligations. Make sure that part of that happiness is also just empty time – rigidly flexibly time – where you can be spontaneous. Plan to be spontaneous by planning in some empty days, and then just waking up that day and seeing what you want to do.
Time is your most important asset. It’s the one thing that you cannot recreate, but it’s also the one thing that is so easy to let slip through your fingers. We’ve all heard stories of deep regret over wasted time and wasted opportunities. The cliché is that no one regrets missing an episode of television on their death bed, but many people regret missing opportunities to travel, spend time with family or learn something new. This often means that at some point time got away from them. Whereas, if you grasp time and make it something that you use, enjoy and exploit to its maximum potential you likely won’t regret so much.
If you are interested in learning more about creating a wealth plan, make sure you listen to my podcast A Wealthy Life, and look at the free resources I offer like the Readiness to Retire Wealthy Audit. Time is incredibly valuable, so make sure you know how you are spending it, and whether the way you spend it makes you truly happy. For more impactful wealthy life tips, please visit my website www.vickiwusche.com, listen to my podcast here and here, or schedule a free call with me.