It is important to be mindful how you spend each day. When you think of budgeting, money isn’t the only resource that should come to mind. In personal finance, time is every bit as important as money, but only you can place an accurate value on it. The financial equivalent of an hour of your time is determined by how wisely you spend it – the more you plan your time and allocate it to productive activities, the more it’s worth. So if you’re looking to squeeze more value out of each hour in your day, try some of these tips to keep you aware of the way you spend your time – and help you spend your time wisely.
Think of your days in terms of minutes. There are 1,440 minutes in a day — one-third of which you spend sleeping. After that, you’re left with about 960 minutes. If you commute to work for an hour each way, then you lose another 120 minutes. Take away the time spent on an 8-hour work shift, and you’re left with only about 360 minutes. Oh, and don’t forget mealtimes. Now you’re left with only 180 minutes of free time per day. That translates to just 3 hours. So, how are you spending those precious hours?
Budget Your Time Wisely
Based on your daily goals and needs, block out your day and allocate time to each goal or need on your lists. Don’t think too hard about it; just use an online calendar or planner and write down your goals and needs next to the appropriate time markers. The process should be short and satisfying, providing you with a way to hold yourself accountable for your time while helping you manage it in an efficient and effective way. Once you’ve developed your time budget, or schedule, stick to it as much as possible. If you’re employed by someone else, your efficiency could be recognized for a promotion; if you’re self-employed, you’ll literally give yourself more time in which to make money. Either way, you can’t lose.
Also, Your mindset will shift once you realize the instrumental value of your own time. Do not spend endless hours watching television or on social media, as doing so was a real drain your time. Simple changes like leveraging technology to automate tasks and using a productivity planner will completely transformed the way you handle your daily obligations.
Try to stay focused on what you need to do. Procrastination is a dangerous waste of time and, subsequently, money. Don’t leave your email open all day – just check it every hour or two and respond to messages right away. You should also avoid checking social networking sites, reading the news online, and anything else that causes a chain reaction of unproductive clicking.
Don’t Lose Sight of Your Own Needs
It’s impossible to be 100% efficient, so give yourself a break every once in a while. You’re a person with individual needs, and no one knows what those needs are better than you do. Make a list of what you need on a daily basis, such as a lunch break, a few shorter breaks throughout the day, a cup of tea, a little music, or a few minutes to chat with coworkers or friends. Now, go through the same process of prioritizing them and deciding what you need to do throughout the day to keep you functioning at a high yet comfortable level.
Before going to bed, always plan out the next day in writing. You can even plan for the next few months. If you don’t leverage your time, growing and scaling a business will be an impossible feat. If you don’t give it all away, you’ll find that you actually do have enough time in the day.