Time is one of my most valuable resources. It is also a constant. Everyone is given the same amount to work with. Consider money. Everyone doesn't have the same amount. There are people with far more at their disposal and others with far less. If more money is what you want, there are things you can do and goals you can set to attempt to accomplish that (I would also add, you could probably find ways to better use the money you do have, but that's another topic for another day!).
With time, there is nothing you can do to actually acquire more. Nothing.
If you are envious of the amount of time another person seems to have, be envious no more. Their days are only 24hrs long; the same as yours.
When people talk about 'being minimal' or a favorite term I read, 'being minimal-ish,' they are usually referring to their relationship with material possessions. Believe me that is something I am grappling with right now and will definitely be posting about in the near future. Big changes going on in my home!
But for now, I wanted to write some thoughts on time.
As I mentioned, we are all allotted the same amount of time on a daily basis. But my previous assertion that everyone is given the same amount of time, is actually false. Lifetimes come in differing amounts.
This is what makes it such a precious commodity. Lifetimes have ending points.
Just as no one generally wants to waste their money, we should be so thoughtful about the way we spend our time.
We hopefully make budgets to ensure that our money is well spent. I suggest budgeting your time as well.
You may think that based on the title of this post, I am going to tell you that Facebook is a waste of time and that you should shut it down and get on with your 'real' life. I don't feel that way.
That being said, I did deactivate my account recently.
One of the keys that I have found to living more simply is de-cluttering. I will be posting about this in more detail soon. This is usually a term used for getting rid of things that are taking up space in our home and not offering value to your life.
The same can be said of what we spend our time on.
For me, Facebook was taking up my time but offering very little value in return.
So for now, it has been deactivated (or decluttered). Notice I didn't say deleted. I reserve the right to return to the site if I find a valuable reason to.
I truly believe that for some, Facebook is a valuable tool used to connect with others. For some, Facebook is time well spent. For me it hasn't been.
Rather than list all the ways Facebook has proven to be a negative for me, I would rather just encourage you to evaluate the use of your own time. I am not here to convince you to get off of Facebook. I am only suggesting that we all have choices to make about how we spend the precious time we have. If Facebook is time well spent for you, then by all means budget it into your day. If it isn't time well spent, consider limiting it or eliminating it. 'Limiting or eliminating,' that sounds and awful lot like budgeting to me.
After a thoughtful struggle with how much of a habit checking Facebook was for me, and after an incident where I clearly allowed my addiction to reading status updates rank higher than the people around me, I had to call it quits. The day my son threw a chicken nugget at my head during lunch while I was looking at Facebook, is the day I deactivated. One, I should have been paying attention to my son and two, we try to keep electronics off of our meal table. Facebook and I weren't lining up, so now we are on and indefinite break. The truth is, I wasn't even enjoying my time scrolling through the updates that much. It was just a habit and a time filler.
I want to break the habit and be more aware of what I am allowing to fill my time.
Here are 5 things that I consider when evaluating how I spend my time.
Does how I spend my time reflect:
1. a priority on people.
2. a priority on my life goals and passion projects.
3. a commitment to healthy living (i.e. healthy eating, exercise, rest).
4. a commitment to enjoying my life.
5. a commitment to being thankful.
When I am deciding what things will be allowed to take up my time, I try to consider it in light of these five things. Does the activity fit?
There are things in life that must be done. Chores. Things you must do but don't really want to do. You may be wondering where laundry or the like fit into this equation.
I allow laundry into my time budget because I love my family and I am committed to their health and well being. I provide them with clean clothes to where out of my love for them and a love for myself. I prefer the clothes I wear to start off clean! I hate doing laundry but I am thankful that we have clothes so I take care of them by washing and mending. At times I can choose to fold laundry while watching a show I was looking forward to or listening to a podcast or book I am interested in. In that case I might actually enjoy the time spent on laundry. Yes, I somehow worked enjoy and laundry into the same sentence! Laundry is allowed a place on my clock because it aligns with what matters to me.
I find ways to organize my time spent on laundry to expedite the process (organization ideas to come!) so that I spend the least amount of time on it as possible. It is on my clock but I try not to let it take over.
Also, there are times when I put off the laundry because something more important comes up. That more important thing might be reading a book to my son or kicking a ball around the backyard at his request. Laundry certainly isn't everything!
Any tips or comments about how you evaluate and budget your time?
As I mentioned, we all have the same hours in a day to do with what we will, but life is short no matter how many years you get. I want to use my time thoughtfully.
I am reluctantly back on on facebook after a month long hiatus. I say reluctantly because I don't want to be sucked back into checking it so often throughout the day. I am limiting myself to checking it once (ok maybe twice) per day. There is a good cause that I learned of and want to be apart of so I reactivated my account. We'll see how it goes....
If you missed the introduction to this series you can find it here: