The Digital Toolbox | Part 2
Today is the equation we talked about last week - the one involving your time and money. If you missed part one, you can go back and read it here.
Recap - Some people have no money and lots of time. Others have lots of money and no time. And the richest of all of us have lots of money and lots of time. The goal is not one over the other. Math is objective. It does not care for right or wrong. My point is that you have to find where your pain point is and what you are lacking and where you have excess. If you have excess time, you might need to add some tools to your toolbox. If you have excess money, you may need to hire someone or buy some digital tools to help you find some more balance. Everyone has an equation that they must work through, and the resulting data will be extremely helpful in making more informed decisions.
So for the next little bit, I’m going to assume you have done the self-assessment and know whether you have more time than money, more money than time, no time and no money, or lots of time and lots of money. Let’s break it down.
Most people find themselves in the “more time than money” camp. The same amount of time is available for every single person that has ever taken a breath on this planet. So why do some people seem to get more out of their time than others? Why are some able to accomplish in days or weeks what it might take other people years to get done? I’m sure that the list of “why” could go on forever, but if I can, let me suggest a few differences between someone who makes the most of their time and someone who doesn’t.
- Someone who makes the most of their allotted time is disciplined. They have a schedule and they understand that they live and die by that schedule. Wasted time is a wasted, non-renewable resource. The person who understands this to be true values the discipline it takes to see their goals and dreams realized in their full capacity.
- Someone who makes the most of their time is aware. Thomas Edison said that “I have not failed. I have just found 10,000 ways that will not work.” What if he had continued in experiment after experiment without taking any notes or without learning from what the previous experiment had taught him? Every moment is an opportunity to learn more about yourself and the world around you. Someone who uses their time wisely looks to be aware of what is happening around them so that they can continue to grow and learn and create.
- Someone who makes the most of the time they’ve been given is resourceful. When I was a kid, starting kindergarten, I remember my dad saying that I only had two things I had to do at school: 1. Learn to get along with others. 2. Learn how to learn. He, over the course of his life, recognized the importance of being able to be independently resourceful. And little did he know how easy that would become with the introduction of the information age and the advent of the internet. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, no one has a good excuse when it comes to ignorance. It’s currently October of 2017, and there are over 4.75 billion (that’s 4,750,000,000) web pages on the internet. Someone somewhere has probably thought and/or answered the question you have. Learning to be resourceful is the best thing you can do for your future self.
- Someone who doesn’t make good use of their time is always the victim. This is by no means a statement about victims. I understand that there are people who are hurting and who are experiencing massive amounts of pain and heartache and are unable to control this intrusive episode in their lives. I also understand that victimhood as a lifestyle is a choice. Continuing to assert yourself as a victim will steal from you the very thing you think you are losing. The inability to control circumstances outside of ourselves is a real problem, and the way we resolve that problem is of utmost importance. To resolve our inability to control with a victim mentality only steals from us more time and more opportunity. The person who is able to not only look past their pain and their problems but see how their solutions can bring healing is the person that will find respite in progress.
- Someone who doesn’t make good use of their time is ungrateful. An ungrateful person takes everything around them for granted. They see relationships, money, experiences, and commodities as consumables. This type of person can find themselves to be very self-focused and can approach the world from a point of scarcity. Always wondering if they have enough or when the things they do have will run out. This person tends to hold on tightly to the things they do have out of fear, not appreciation.
- Someone who doesn’t make good use of their time gets distracted easily. It is easier than it has ever been to be distracted. It’s like we’re constantly in line at the grocery store and there are all those “last second” items or magazines that are catching our attention. Cheap. Probably poor quality. Substantially useless. Those items, those magazines are there by accident, they are there because marketers know how distracted we are and how easy it is to deviate our attention. This is the metaphor for a thousand other things that grab and steal at our time. Our brains are neurologically changing so that we need distractions to function. Focus and attention take a backseat when the minuscule thrill of a notification or a popup occurs. A person who values their time and makes the most of it will actively seek ways to minimize distractions.
These are just a few of the descriptors that might help you self-assess and find where you are losing your time. And to be quite honest, I don’t list these out of some sense of creating a “good person”/“bad person” list, but out of my own personal experience. I have been all of these people. I have been the ungrateful victim who was constantly distracted from what needed to be done. And I have been the resourceful, disciplined person who is aware of where time and energy goes and how it affects outcomes. I’ve been on both sides of that coin and I can tell you from my own life that it is possible to move from one side to another. It doesn’t always work out that cleanly, but there is always space for that movement.
Next week we’ll look at the person who has more money than time. Stay tuned!