I keep finding articles that say “5 Ways to Help You Spend Your Time More Efficiently” or “12 Steps to Spend Your Time Successfully” or “7 Ways That Successful People Spend Their Time”. There are even books based on such “tips”. Most of them will tell you to exercise, start a healthy diet, wake up early, set goals etc. You know, all the standard advises that most of us get and perhaps the classic goals that most of us set to spend our time “the correct way”. I am writing the “correct” in italics because I’m not sure if the one who decides what is supposed to be “correct” is you or a third party. All these pieces of advice can be helpful but there is one simple thought that you need to think in order to decide who, and what is worthy of your time. If you have ever spent your money on cash and card, then you can very easily understand what I am going to describe.
How Do You Spend Your Time?
Do you spend your time as you spend your money in cash or as you spend it when you use a credit card?
- When you spend “In cash“: You have some money left in your wallet as you know exactly on what and how much you spend. So, you can dedicate your money to things that matter.
- When you spend “By card“: Your card can get overcharged. In order not to face more problems, you must sacrifice some important things in the coming days. If only you were more careful when spending all that money…
Generally the following happen when we spend:
- In cash
- We are more careful in where we spend our money. We seek for the best value for money.
- We know how much money we have left at the end of each transaction.
- We are better prepared on where to spend our money and we hardly allow ourselves to diverge.
- By card
- We spend a lot more money.
- It’s easier to drift into unnecessary waste.
- Because we do not know exactly how much money we have, we can reach our card limit when it will be too late to change our behaviour.
Treat Your Time As Your Bank Account.
See the minutes you have in this life like the money on the bank account. See the different activities, the different people and everything you spend time on, like the things you can buy with your money. See, that is, where you spend your minutes as to where you spend your money. But think wisely because:
- in this “bank account” you do not know how much money you start with and how much you have left,
- you only have one card,
- when you have no money left, then that’s it…
So did you answer the question I asked you earlier?Do you spend your money in cash or by card?
Why Do We Spend Our Time As If We Had Plenty?
We do not know how many more days we have in front of us. Time is a fuzzy concept in our minds. So fuzzy that we rarely realize how it passes. How many times has it occurred to you to say “wow time really flies…”. Most of us, we tend to not think about the end of our time, so we don’t manage it as we would if we knew how much we have left. Many obligations, situations and people “battle” for our limited minutes every day. But these minutes will be gone and they are not coming back. The truth, however, is that time will continue passing whether we want it or not. Our “bank account”, that is, our time, is decreasing. Each day that passes, takes something out from that account.
“You live as if you were destined to live forever, no thought of your frailty ever enters your head, of how much time has already gone by you take no heed. You squander time as if you drew from a full and abundant supply, though all the while that day which you bestow on some person or thing is perhaps your last.”
Start Spending Your Minutes In Cash.
The great Stoic Seneca said he would not let anyone spend his day. My purpose is not to scare you. My purpose is not to teach you any lessons about how to spend your time. What I want to tell you is that no matter how you decide to spend your time, remember that unlike money, you can not find more. I do not suggest you be“stingy” with your time. Just the next time you have an “obligation” to attend to ask yourself: “Is it really worth spending my money there?“.
I hope you cut your card and start using cash so you start thinking a bit more how much you spend and on what. I try to do this as well!