Time: our most precious resource (2 of 3)

While there are exceptions, I believe people are fairly good at doing more of the things they really love and doing less of the things they really hate. Are you obsessed with trying new restaurants? My guess is you’re going to find yourself eating out a lot. Do you absolutely hate your boss, your company, and your role? That kind of recurring negative experience is probably a pretty good motivator to make a change.

Unfortunately, much of our experience falls somewhere in between really good and really bad. There is lots of ‘ok’, which is one more reason it’s so important to be intentional and deliberate about how we use our time. Returning to the job example: let’s say you don’t hate your job, but it’s not a great experience; it’s ok. There are some pluses and minuses. It can be easy to remain in an ok place for years despite there being a significant opportunity cost. Time spent doing something ‘ok’ could be time spent seeking and finding something good (or great).

Obviously, our rampant use of social media is well-discussed and documented. It’s another example, which for most people probably fits in the ‘ok’ bucket. If you planned out your day, would you consciously set aside [1] hour to be on [Instagram/Reddit/Twitter/Facebook/etc…] each day? Probably not. But it’s not that hard to unintentionally do.

Another way time can quickly be absorbed unwillingly is due to social pressure and obligation. Have you ever gone to an event, met someone for a coffee, or taken a phone call, when you really didn’t want to but felt obligated? I certainly have (and still do, occasionally). If you highly value your time, it’s important to build the muscle of respectfully saying ‘no’. Saying ‘no’ can be incredibly liberating and is a key skill set in taking control of how your time is spent.