Playing the time game

‘ Budgeting is more than an Excel spreadsheet displaying a person’s income minus expenses.’ Although for most of us budgeting our money is the skill we most need to master, it’s not the only aspect that needs budgeting. ‘

Life is a balancing act that leaves most of us endless goals, wants and needs, but only so much money, time, and skill to follow through with them.’ Money is the resource we spend the most time budgeting – which’ is‘ important – but budgeting of our time is just as important.

Studies show that Americans today our as strapped for time is ever.’ Even college students struggle to find the time to fit everything into one day.’ Most of us go to school at least 2-3 days a week, work at least 20 hours a week, are involved in extra curricular activities, have a good couple hours of homework each week. Then we have to study, eat,’ spend time with family, find time for friends, find our leisure time, and then we have to find time to sleep between all of that.’ ‘

In an article in USA Today they cited a study that says the average American adult sleeps’ 6.5 hours a night.’ This is down a full hour from the 1950s.

So how do you make the most of the remaining 17.5 hours of the day?’ the best way to get the most out of your time is planning your schedule out the week before.’ Take a Sunday evening and write down all the responsibilities and places you have to be this week.’ Most of our schedules come and go in cycles, for instance, when school starts up we spend the first two weeks getting into a rhythm.’ We figure out the routine of where are classes are, what time we have to do homework, and finding good parking spots.’ And once you get into that rhythm things become easier, but theres always little things that pop up like Service on Saturday on October 10th or’ a pumpkin bust on October 13th.’ Writing these events down makes it easier to remember without putting so much stress on your brain.

The next thing you can do is prioritize.’ Determine what it is that you find most important and plan accordingly.’ For most of us school is important.’ We’re told that people with a bachelors degree earn a little over’ million dollars‘ more than a high school graduate over a lifetime.’ That’s why we spend so much time going to class and doing homework so that we can make more money and have the means for a better life.’ So when your faced with a scheduling dilemma you should ask yourself one question ‘what’s more important to me?” Is it more important to stay out late at a bar or stay in and study for a tough test you have that week?’ Next time you sit down for a healthy dose of reality television ask yourself’ what else could I be doing with my time right now?‘ or’ how much entertainment am I really getting out of this?

It’s pretty simple to figure out that what you spend most of your time doing is what you find important.’ If you were a professional musician, you would find music to be very important to you, and the majority of your day-to-day activities would be geared toward something musical.’ As theory would have it, if you’re a college student you would find education to be very important, and most of your day to day activities would be committed towards learning as much as you can(or enough to pass the class respectively).’ ‘ You can tell which students are the best at budgeting based on how they perform in school.’ An ‘A’ student is usually someone who is organized and well prepared. A ‘C’ student is usually someone who isn’t well organized but kind of prepared.’ ‘A’ students are usually students who have their priorities in order and make the best use of their time.’ Preparation breeds success – it’s that simple.

There is one mistake that most people make when budgeting their time, over-scheduling.’ Life isnt always going to plan out the way you thought no matter how meticulous a planner you are.’ Having your schedule filled down to the last minute with commitments is about as dumb as spending every dime you make.’ You have to leave a little wiggle room for the unknown.’ After all we are human and do make mistakes.’ How many times have you overslept? Been stuck in traffic? Bumped into an old friend and got to talking? Fell asleep watching TV?’ Over-scheduling is just a complex way of setting yourself up for failure.’ In order to be a successful budgeter of your time you have to be prepared, disciplined, and have your priorities in line.

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