Do you have Time for your New Year’s Resolution?
Recently, I overheard a parent admonishing her adult son, Eric. She felt Eric's son, her three-year old grandson, was not getting the Christmas experience he deserved. Last year Eric didn't decorate his home for Christmas at all. So far this year Eric was not meeting her decorating standards or timeframe. He commented he just didn't have the time. Her response challenged me, "I think you have plenty of time. It's just how you choose to use your time."
That comment made me think about how I use my time. How do you choose to spend your time? Do you even see how you use your time as a choice? Time management has much in common with budgeting finances. During the holidays, both can take a beating.
One of the first steps in setting a budget is to look at where you currently spend your money. Experts suggest you take one week and write down every cent you spend. Every coke, every donut, every latte, every movie, every pack of cigarettes, every...you get the idea. At the end of the week most people are quite surprised at where their money is actually going. For most people, it's these miscellaneous expenses that bankrupt us.
The same is true with our time. At home and at work, how do you spend your time? For one week, keep track of where you spend every minute: mail, phone, gaming, email, internet, TV, meetings, grocery, time with family and friends, kids' sporting activities... You may be surprised at how those few minutes here and there add up over the course of a day. At the end of the week, you'll see where your time went.
Do you like what you see? If you do, great! If you don't, realize you have a choice over how you spend your time. Maybe you still want to continue an activity, but you decide to set a limit on how much time you devote to it. Maybe you decide to cut out an activity all together. Maybe you decide you need to spend more time on an activity.
Maybe, you'll even find time for that elusive New Year's resolution! Exercise anyone?