How do you plan your days, weeks, months, and years? Or do you? Perhaps you are more likely to take time as it comes, without even a thought of planning. After all, isn’t there too much to do in the time available anyway? What difference does planning make? Well, quite a lot, if and when we make decisions about how we are going to spend our time.
I believe that most of us have time that should be divided into three categories: Family Time, Market Time, and Volunteer Time. Family Time includes everything that we do or should do to keep our family unit(s) sacred. For those who are caring for children fulltime, this occupies the majority of their available time. For those employed outside of the home fulltime, Market Time, work for pay, occupies the majority of their time. The third category, Volunteer Time, includes community service, church work, and any other activity that we do as a citizen of our communities. There are some who are professional volunteers who work without financial compensation the same as many do who are employed fulltime in Market Work. Then there are others who volunteer in various ways throughout their lives as circumstances and their interests allow.
“There is no should implied in this discussion of how we spend our time, just that we should be thoughtful and deliberate about it. Time is our most valuable resource. It is something that once gone can never be recovered. As I think about this, I am reminded of a woman whom I worked with several years ago who recently died unexpectedly at too young of an age. I also think of others of various ages who no longer have the option to make purposeful decisions about how they spend their time. I am also thinking of a couple of people who are dealing with life-threatening conditions, and who know the value of time better than I do. Thinking of all of these, how foolish for any of us to waste our time, or to fail to even plan it.
If I am serious about the statement above, “There is no should implied in how we spend our time,” what constitutes “wasting” time? My definition of wasting time is failing to be purposeful about how we spend it; in essence, failing to plan.
Planning our time involves goal setting, which needs to be written for us to be effective at it. Goal setting does not need to be complicated. There are many different ways for us to set and manage written goals. I have a simple system that I will write about in a future blog. In the meantime, let’s agree that being thoughtful and purposeful about how we spend our time is a worthy endeavor.
If we need a reminder of the importance of this, we only need to think of those we know who would love to have the time to do so.