Wikipedia defines time management as “the act or process of planning and exercising conscious control over the amount of time spent on specific activities, especially to increase effectiveness, efficiency or productivity”. The part of this definition that is the most critical is CONSCIOUS CONTROL, being fully aware of where your time is being spent. More importantly, consciously making the decision to spend it there.
Isn’t it interesting that we refer to time in the same way we refer to money? It’s a commodity we trade for money. But unlike money, and even though we use the phrase “saving time”, we really can’t save it and use it for a rainy day now can we? While most of us go through life looking to increase our wealth, we usually do it by spending our time on those activities that we believe contribute to that increase of our wealth.
On the other side of the coin is the idea of “wasting time”, in this case the similarities are much closer to that of wasting money. When you can look back and feel that the value for what you paid or used your time for was not equivalent to that which you received as an outcome.
Why is all this important? Because most people don’t treat their most valuable commodity of time the same way they treat money. Let me give you an example: you have been saving your money for your dream car and you almost have enough for the down payment and then you have a water pipe break in your house causing you to be without any water at all. Do you still buy the car and forgo showering? Or do you re-prioritize and have the pipe repaired?
To understand how to prioritize your time based on importance can really only be up to you. There are no magic piggy banks that you can deposit your time to be used later. There are, however, many tools you can use and skills you can develop to spend consciously. Whatever you spend your time on, try to always think of going into it with the decision to never have buyer’s remorse.