A while ago, I talked about the idea of budgeting time like I do money–and I promised to let you know how it went.
In short, it flopped in record time.
Time is actually not like money at all. When we spend money, we know it–our purchase or bill is going to show up on our bank statement, and we have a chance to record it. Time, on the other hand, continues to go by no matter how frugal you are.
For example, whenever I sat down to work on my time budget, I was spending time, even though I was trying to save my time. All of my other activities counted, too–meaning that if I did anything, I’d have to record it. Actually, even if I did nothing, I had to record it.
It was also startling how quickly I would run out of the time set aside for relaxing and enjoying life, or with my family. Knowing that I had used it all up for the week and had to spend the rest working didn’t encourage me–it just meant that I only had more work to look forward to.
Even if I wanted to rearrange my budget mid-week in order to work around unexpected events, that just took more time and effort–and drained my attention away from the very things I wanted to make room for.
There’s probably a strategy out there that will work even for someone as easily-distracted as me. But, it looks like a time budget is not the right path.
Any suggestions for the next method I might try? I’m open to suggestions, and I’ll mention you next time if I use yours. Thanks in advance!