The $86,400 Question

August 17, 2012 in Best of Both, Time Management, Work-Life Balance

Imagine, at the start of each morning you were given $86,400. You have to spend this money. You can’t invest your money and you can’t save it for a rainy day. The money that you don’t use you lose! How would you spend that money? Each day this happens to us, but with something much more valuable than money, OUR TIME.

Each and every day we are allocated with 86,400 seconds. However, for some of us we don’t think the importance of these seconds, but rather take them for granted, and as such squander them on less important pursuits.

However, these seconds are much more important than money. While you can save money and make more of it, you can’t do that with time. Time is non-renewable, once it is gone it is gone forever.

This makes time management, which is more about managing yourself in relation to time, one of the most important things to contribute to your happiness.

Just as recently as yesterday, while meeting my girlfriend and her Mom in our imaging center waiting room (they came in for their annual screening mammographies) we discussed how there doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day.  The conversation went something along these lines—after the normal pleasantries, we got to chatting about all the kids’ activities and what we’ve been doing since the 4th of July when we last saw one another.  My friend remarked incredulously, “How many hours are in “your day”, because I don’t know how you fit it all in!”

These types of exchanges still amuse me to some degree.  We are all busy-there’s no doubt about that.  Whether we are stay at home Moms or working outside the home Moms – how DO we fit it all in?

For me, I tend to be a planner / scheduler.  I use my Outlook calendar for both work related meetings, appointment, project updates as well as personal appointments.  So my administrative assistants know when I’m meeting with a physician to do on-boarding orientation training or when I have a softball game or am taking the kids to the dentist, Sesame Place or the beach.  Yes, to some, it might seem like that’s none of their business; however it makes my life easier to manage to maintain just one calendar.

Like most families, we have a very active social calendar, b choice, so much so that my two older children know that need to check Mommy’s Blackberry to see if we have plans on a particular day.  They even know how to add something to my calendar if they need a ride or are invited to a party- so I am aware.

My husband and I sync our calendars about once a month-believe it or not we have social engagements planned into February 2013.

This is not to say we have no spontaneity, but in order to “fit it all in” we as a family need to know where and when we are going places.  Then having this knowledge allows me to fit in blogging, my home business responsibilities, grocery shopping etc without taking away from family time.

Over time besides planning ahead, I’ve also learned to guard/ protect our time.  We don’t have to have every minute or hour booked with a schedule activity.  It allows time to read out loud (my 12 year old and I are in the 3rd book of the Hunger Games series now), going swimming in the pool, playing board games (we are big fans of Zingo and Scrabble).

What’s your tip for fitting it all in?  Share it with us-because it’s good to learn something new every day!