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Spend your time like you spend your money

In the course of helping people change careers there’s always one topic that eventually comes up — money. The topic of money should come up for anyone considering a career change. After all, it’s the main reason why we have jobs — to put food on the table and rooves over our heads and to pay for designer shoes and overpriced cold brew. #notjudging

Sure, we want our jobs to fill us up and help us grow and make us feel like a part of something bigger. You know I’m all about that. Hell, I’ve built an entire company and dare-I-say movement around that. But money and work are inextricably tied together, no question. Everybody has a certain number in their head that they think will enable them to build a life that feels good. We’re careful about money, cautious about it. Most of us put a lot of thought into how we spend it and how we make it.

We have spreadsheets and advisors and 10-year plans. When it comes to money, we are not fucking around.

What if we put this much time and energy into how we spend our time?

Daaaaaaamn. Wouldn’t we all be so much happier?

I’d like you to consider spending your time like you spend your money — carefully and with intention. We’d be better off if we spent our hours like dollars. Investing your time carefully and intentionally — deciding how much time you’re going to spend in certain areas — helps you get more bang for your happiness buck.

Call me crazy, but I think it’s even more important to budget your time than it is to budget your money. Because you can always make more money. What you can’t make is more time. This is your life we’re talking about.

You can choose how you want to spend your time at work.

Sure, there are certain things you have to do at work, but there’s often way more freedom than we take advantage of — like how you configure your workday, for example. Even if you work a traditional nine-to-five, your schedule is often mostly your own. You can use that freedom to create a feel-good schedule.

Let’s say the woman who works in the office beside you likes to work on several projects in a day in short bursts to keep things fresh and interesting. More power to her, but if that’s not your jam don’t schedule your day like that. Maybe you love to focus deeply and work on one project for a long stretch of time. If so, do that instead. Arrange your work day/week in a way that incorporates longer focused periods for projects…or whatever it is that feels good to you. You do you.

You can budget how much time you spend with certain people.

You only have so much time and energy in the bank. Wouldn’t you rather spend it on people who make you feel good?

You probably know a couple of people who you find toooootally draining — like you need to take a nap after talking to them. Stop spending time with those people. This is tricky if it’s a family member, but you can still love someone and spend less time with them.

Make an effort to spend more of your time with people who make you happy and less time with people who bring you down. It’s your time and you get to choose who you spend it with.

You can be intentional about how you spend your time in the evenings.

We are constantly giving our time away to other people. (I’m talking to you, LADIES.) We spend so much time caring for other people, and trying to accomplish everything on our truly impossible To Do lists that we’re running on empty. You need to keep some of your time in the bank for yourself. Treat your hours like dollars and spend wisely.

And I’m not just talking about the occasional #treatyoself. I’m talking about using your time in a way that makes you feel sane — with enough time to rest and play and actually enjoy your life. Remember life?

You only have four or five hours in the evening after work to do all of the stuff you want to do. You have to take some of that shit off your list so you can put yourself back on. Trying to cram too much stuff into a finite period of time is like trying to shove another book into an already bulging bookshelf. You can’t. You have to make space first. Make yourself some space. You decide what stays and what goes, but something must go if you want more time for yourself.

How you spend your time is how you spend your life. Spend wisely.