Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Time Management Tuesday: If Only We Could Treat Time Like Money

We often talk about time using the same terms we use when we talk about money. "Saving time/saving money." "Wasting time/wasting money." How often have you heard someone talk about "time being money." In our family, we sometimes have to determine what we have more of at any given point--time or money--and spend one or the other accordingly.

A couple of months ago, I was reading an article about the classic envelope method for budgeting money: you divide up the money you have coming in on payday into envelopes for your known expenses. If you've put too much money into an envelope and don't need it all, you get to save it and build up some money for other uses.

If only I could do that with time, I thought.

The May issue of Yoga Journal had a brief article called The Buck Stops Here: 4 Steps to Create a Better Budget (I kid you not) that also made me think of managing time.

1 "Identify Your Values." Writing down the things that mattered most to you is supposed to "clarify the purpose of money in your life." You could just as easily use the word "time" as "money" here.

2.  "Look at Your Habits." This involved looking at your last three months of expenses and cash flow. Again, couldn't people look at how they've been spending their time recently?

3.  "Observe Without Judgment." The point of the article was to ask readers to determine (without getting all hopped up about it) whether or not their spending habits "aligned with your values." Again, do this while thinking about time. Are our time habits aligned with our values?

4.  "Identify Action Steps." "Think about changes you can make to align your money use with your values." Replace "money" with "time."

Of course, if that had been a time management article instead of a money management article, I would have wanted a lot more than a paragraph for "Identify Action Steps." I'd want a freaking book.

Yes, seeing time management everywhere is probably a sign of obsession. But I'm accustomed to being obsessed about one thing or another. Doesn't bother me at all.

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