How do you spend your time?
This phrase is interesting to me, especially the word spend.
When I hear the word spend I think of money. However, time was being spent well before any money was ever spent in this world.
Time = money. No it doesn't. Money is just what we get in exchange for our time in relation to however much value our work contributes to society.
Time is more valuable than money. An hour could be worth $15 or $1000. On the other hand $10 will always be $10 (not taking into account inflation).
I am 27 years old and I would say for the majority of my life how my time has been spent has not been dictated by me. When I was really young my parents dictated how my time was spent and once I started school most hours were not mine to spend. Sure I made some choices here and there but overall my time spending was hardly autonomous at least until the age of 22. Even then, most people after school go out into the work force and once again are told how to spend their time.
I have a lot of friends who have complained to me about not learning personal finance in school. They graduate, then go out into life and run into problems that need to be solved regarding money, but they don't know how to solve these problems. I have complained about this too. Wouldn't it have been nice to learn about taxes in school? Probably.
This might be dangerous thinking. Perhaps we are placing too much of a burden on schools to teach us everything we ought to know in life. I think in some ways our school systems may be responsible for systematically destroying initiative towards self-education. You are hardly rewarded for innovation and deviation from the "curriculum" in our schools (in America). "They should have taught me this" we say or "they should have taught me that". Well you can order almost any book on any topic on Amazon and it can be delivered to your doorstep the next day. You can learn about any topic you want. Never has information been more widely available.
What I don't hear is people complaining about how they didn't learn to manage their time in school. I think a lot of people think that school indirectly helped them learn about time management. But I'm not so sure that's the case. I think it mostly has helped people learn how to get the mosts tasks done in the shortest period of time. I think there is much more to learn about time management.
I know some people who follow a monthly financial budgeting program called Every Dollar. Which I actually think is pretty cool. The philosophy behind it is that every dollar in and out is accounted for. You "touch" every dollar. You tell the dollar where it goes and each month your budget should balance out to zero. That way no money is "disappearing" or going unchecked. I'm really curious why more people don't do this with their time. A monthly time budget where every hour is accounted for. How many hours do you lose every day doing shit you don't actually care about?
The word "schedule" isn't very sexy. It seems like a weak word, but in reality I think being a steward of a lifetime's worth of time is perhaps one of the most important things we do in this life. As a steward you need to choose where that time goes. By scheduling an act you are pretty much saying that I am wrestling with this life and I am taking this section of it and I am going to do this thing with it. We want so much. We want to achieve so much and experience so much but we are so passive about scheduling out the time needed.
Put it in the calendar. Put it in the schedule. It is not boring. It is so meaningful. Choose what you want to do with the time that has been given to you. Be a good steward.
I got to have a conversation with two artists that I love pretty recently and I asked both of them:
Do you schedule time each week to work on your music?
They both said no.
This breaks my heart. They both have so much value to add to this world in the form of their music, but the work isn't being done. You have to choose for yourself. If you really want it... I don't think there is any way to achieve a career in the music industry without scheduling your time to do the work.
My hope is that you will pull out your calendar and schedule time every week to work on your music. Pull it out now and write for these two hours on this day I am going to practice guitar, write a song, etc... Please do it. Please schedule time to work on your music.