Most often when we talk about budgeting we are referring to our money. That is important and I will get to that later this week. But, right now I want to focus on budgeting our time. This will help us with our money and everything else. Time is the thing we lose more than anything. It keeps moving no matter what’s going on in our lives. It never stops. Most of all, it never gives us back what time we’ve lost. As the song states, “Time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’ into the future.”
Time is also something we are only given a certain amount. Some of us are given a little more than others, but essentially we all are given less than 100 years, or 1200 months, or 36,500 days, or 876,000 hours, or 52,560,000 minutes. Regardless of the overall amount we each have, we all have the same 24 hours in a day. None of us get more or less than anyone else. Our choices are what differ. 24 hours a day, every day. That’s it, folks. There are no do-overs, there are no second chances, and there is no re-start button – at least not with THIS life. Time is also not guaranteed. Our time could be up today, tomorrow, or at any moment. I have suddenly lost people in my life, and their absence leaves a deep hole inside my soul. I one day will be absent and leave this world. BUT, while I’m here, I want to make the most of the time I have, and in order to make the most of it, I have to budget and protect my time, just like I do my money.
Not knowing exactly how much time we have makes budgeting complicated. However, that shouldn’t stop us from planning, using estimated and approximated time in order to utilize it the best we can. Time is a thief, it steals moments and opportunities when we allow it control of our decisions. When we just ‘wing it’, we miss a lot of opportunity. Though it’s been said opportunity falls into our laps, that’s not been the experience I’ve known. While opportunities present themselves throughout our lives, we have to choose to seize them or lose them, and our lives will become a string of regret.
This is very important. We have to protect our time. We have to be picky about who and what we allow into our lives. There are people and substances (substance abuse, addictions and distractions (yes, this also includes video games) that will steal our attention, distract our focus, waste our time, and destroy our opportunities. Misery loves company. Laziness loves excuses. Train wrecks love to cause other train wrecks. Users seek to use up our opportunities and resources, and then move onto their next victim, leaving us empty. Addicts need other addicts. Losers make other losers. You are as successful as the company you keep. You are who you hang with. If you’re surrounded by a bunch of losers, addicts, lazy-ass mother fuckers, cheaters, liars, thieves, thugs, selfish, self-centered narcissists … get the picture? Surround yourself with people who are successful, driven, focused, giving, optimistic, wise, intelligent, and kind. Make a plan for YOURSELF, and then stand back and watch to see who or what comes in to derail or support those plans. While we would love to blame THEM or THAT, they’re not the ones responsible for stealing our time or destroying the budget or plans we’ve made with that time. WE ARE. We are the guardians and managers of ourselves, our time, our budget, our resources, our company, our friends, our drive and determination, and everything else we have and want.
If we want to get ahead, enjoy success, fulfill our dreams, reach our goals, and live a life full of experience and adventures, then we must take a realistic look at how we spend our time, make the necessary and honest (often hard) adjustments, and then budget our time to meet those goals and dreams. It can be done. I’ve done it several times now and I’m doing it again. I hope you come along with me. If not, then good luck to you, because I’m not going to stick around and allow you steal my time or derail my dreams. I love myself enough to cut you out of my time budget.
Till next time,