Time and Thrift
Time is precious. In business it is said that “time is money” and sometimes there is so much to do that there never seems to be enough time. Often periods of being time poor coincide with sufficient or even an abundance of money, however, in my experience, life is fickle, fragile and beautiful and one never knows what is around the corner. Time and money are at opposite ends of the balancing see-saw as either we are very busy, earning good money or there is plenty of time on our hands but there is very little money. On those occasions when time, not money, is in abundance and especially if this time comes through an unexpected misfortune or sudden change of circumstances, it may be accompanied by the black dog of depression. It is of paramount importance to realise the value of time and invest it wisely for the health of our bank balance, mind, body and soul. It is in times such as these that a wonderful new door of opportunity may open, a new skill is developed or new knowledge attained. Of utmost importance is not to allow the resource of time to slip through one’s fingers and be wasted.
Everyone is given the same twenty-four hour period each day and it is a constant source of interest that some peoples’ achievements are amazing, whilst others simply squander time and have little to show for its passing. Time is a resource as valuable, or even more so, than money and the idea of thrifty time is that this resource is realised and is not wasted. Time is a gift and we are to redeem it, buy in back, in productive and purposeful endeavours. I am suggesting a balanced approach to the way time is spent. There is a time to work and a time to rest, a time to recreate and a time to nurture self and others, however there are many people, habits and mindless activities which will steal our time away and time, once lost, can never be regained.
I am aware there are times when physical and /or emotional health simply demand rest and plenty of it but as health returns it is very important to get going and engage in the day. Some days it seems that nothing is achieved and they are the days when just surviving is an achievement. However, achieving something in the day, even if it is a small something to begin with, will boost the spirit, build self confidence and contribute towards a healthier, happier and fuller future.
Set some goals for the day. When my children were little and time just seemed to get swallowed up, each day I set out to achieve something – get the folding up to date; do some baking – you know – mind blowing stuff – and on going to bed, I would think about what was achieved that day and set a goal for the next day. And funnily enough over 4 decades later and now ‘retired’ I am still doing the same thing.
Wasting Time is truly one of the most wasteful things we can do; following are some strategies for spending time wisely.
#1) Get out of bed and get the day started. Very little is gained through making “lying in” a lifestyle habit.
#2) Streamline and simplify life through having a routine and work the routine.
#3) Cleaning is one of those tasks which can take up as much time as you let it. Streamline cleaning procedures through tidying and cleaning as you go; declutter; have a place for everything and return items to their place after use; enlist the help of others in the household.
#4) Learn to say “NO”. The world is full of people who waste their own time and are more than happy to waste yours as well. This does not mean there is never time for a cup of coffee with a friend or to do good for others but do not let other people tie you up just because it suits them. Be the master of your time and invest it wisely.
#5) Have a time budget and use it to avoid excessive periods of chatting on the phone; being caught up on Facebook, internet surfing or television watching.
#6) Find a wholesome hobby, an interest, that makes you a more interesting and interested person. If necessary, a hobby can often be turned into a source of extra income.
#7) Before sleep take a mental inventory of your day and thank God that, for today, your needs were provided. Plan something you would like to achieve on the morrow.
We have been entrusted with the precious gift of time, so as good stewards let us make our time count for something positive. One day we will be called to give an account for what we have done with our time and the old adage, “the Devil finds work for idle hands” is as true today as ever.