No matter the degree or look, we all have the same three things: time, money and strengths. These three items take up a lot of space in our lives. We all have them. We all use them. But we don’t always make sure they are filled with value. So why not make sure our time and money and strengths are bringing value to our lives instead of clutter?
- Time—How often do we express there not being enough time in the world? Well, guess what, there is. We just have to organize it.A great way to do this is to start recording how we spend our time in a time diary. Whether this is in a notebook or an app, make sure it’s something you have with you at all times. The habit will be difficult to get into, but worth it. You can even keep one at work and one on your person. Then you can get an accurate look at what your work time looks like compared to your personal time. Keeping a time diary will tell you what you truly value. Do you profess to be passionate about writing? Well, what is the breakdown between TV time and writing time? There’s the value. After tracking for a month you can really see how many hours Facebook gets and how many hours personal development gets. Now that the patterns are apparent, it’s time to create a time diary that reflects your values.
- Money—As Biden puts it, “Show me your budget and I’ll tell you what you value.” Dave Ramsey is all about this in his teachings: look through your budget and assign value to each dollar. This is a really successful approach to personal budgeting. The idea is to zero out at the end of the month. No going over but no going under either. The keys to this method is to track your spending. Print out your statement and break down the expenditures into types: Food, Entertainment, Gas, etc. Now you know where that money seemingly disappears to (Jimmy John’s!). Now create your budget. By assigning an amount you can spend on coffee each month, you put coffee in its place. Is it something you truly value? Then allow it to have significance within your budget. Is it just an addiction that you cater to? Then decrease that number and assign that money to something of value to you.
- Strengths—We all have things we’re good at. And it’s pretty typical that using our gifts and talents is energizing and life-giving. And yet we settle for careers that are less than suited to our skills and become trapped in a life to make money, use money. Eat, Work, Sleep, Repeat. But let me boldly suggest breaking out of this cycle and doing what you are fulfilled by and skilled at. Invest in yourself by using tested tools such as Myers Briggs and StrengthsFinder to get an idea of what you are innately strong in. For me that’s seeing the world as a realm of possibilities (new ideas and projects and approaches) while having the mental ability to think of the appropriate system for the new idea. StrengthsFinder operates under the idea that we should excel in what we have innate skill for instead of becoming mediocre in something unnatural to us. By following this mentality, we assign value to our time, life and gifts by using our skills regularly.
What is a way you bring value into your life?
Entrepreneurs, be sure to check in tomorrow for some tips!