Budgeting time is not all that different than budgeting your money. Or if you want to look at it another way, budgeting your money is not all that different than budgeting your time. Now if you have trouble doing either of these or both of these, this should help you.
Budgeting anything is simply a way to help us be more intentional, more focused and more efficient with whatever resource we’re budgeting
When we follow through on the entire budgeting process. When you have a budget, it is effective only when you have an actual to compare it to. That means you need to track the actual.
Just like with budgeting money, you start at the beginning … with the total amount of resources you have. If you’re budgeting a month at a time, you have roughly 720 hours (depending on the number of days in the month you’re budgeting); a week at a time, 168 hours; a day at a time, 24 hours.
Once you decide the total amount of the resource, you start to assign that resource based on priority. For example, you want to identify your most basic needs first and assign amounts to those as your highest priority. These are your non-negotiables like sleep, commute time, work, kids. These are your personal priorities – everyone may be a little different. Then move to other commitments that you would not choose to eliminate. Keep assigning time until you have assigned all of your time.
When you decide to spend your time or assign your time to the different things in your life, one option I recommend is that instead of scheduling a task, schedule a result. So instead of scheduling time to go to the gym, which is the task, schedule time for the result, which might be become stronger or improve my fitness level. Instead of scheduling time to work on your new book, you might schedule time to complete chapter 1. You’re focusing on what you need to accomplish rather than focusing on just doing a task, which may or may not get completed.
Then find a way to track the time you spend. I got this great tip from one of my coaching peers and it has worked really well for me. I keep my calendar on Google calendar, but you can probably do this on most calendars. When I accomplish a result, I change it to the color I have decided will represent results that I have accomplished.
At the beginning of the day, when my calendar is brand new, it might be all kinds of colors depending on what types of results I’ve scheduled for that day. When I have accomplished everything that day, at the end of that day everything will be the same color, say grape, if that’s the color I’ve chosen as my “Done” color.
This makes it very easy to review the day and see what results I did not get to.
That brings me to the next way you can budget your time is reviewing your time. You can review those things you did not get to and ask yourself why, not from a place of judgment, but from a place of curiosity and love. Don’t dwell on it, but you can identify any thoughts that might have kept you from completing that result and question those thoughts. You can decide what you will do the next time those thoughts come up and develop a strategy for moving forward anyway. Maybe it’s a new thought to practice. If I’m thinking I just don’t want to do the dishes, I can ask myself if that’s really true? Why wouldn’t I want to have the dishes done? I certainly feel better when I walk past and they’re not calling out to me. So perhaps that’s just a thought error and I just need to remind myself why that’s not true for me. Maybe it’s a matter of reminding my brain, “Yeah, I never want to do that, but I have already decided that I’m always going to just do it anyway.”
Lastly, you’re going to make adjustments from the planning part of your brain. When I want to be more intentional, whether it’s with food, with money or with my time, I know that I need to make decisions ahead of time. This is how I engage the planning or the rational part of my brain and it’s key for increasing my chances of success.
When I leave decisions to in the moment, that’s when I leave it up to my toddler or primitive brain to make decisions from a place of seeking pleasure, avoiding pain or minimizing energy and effort. In my experience, this rarely leads to consistently good results in my life.
See where you need to adjust, what you need to change in your plan and make those changes ahead of time.
I’m always trying to find ways to improve my time management process, so when you find something that works really well for you, PLEASE SHARE!
I’m at MoreMoneyCents@gmail.com and I love to hear from you!
If you want to learn more about becoming more intentional about your time AND your money so you feel more in control of your life, put a free coaching session on your calendar and mine. I love to share the tools I’ve learned that have brought me such freedom.
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Twenty years ago, Jill Wright was in debt and living paycheck to paycheck. Through focus and hard work, over the years she and her husband built a nest egg that allowed them to retire in 2018 at ages 50 and 53.
Jill heard God’s call to help other women repaint their own financial future and was eager to answer it. She left her corporate job and became a Financial Confidence Coach. Jill loves helping women give up shame around spending so that they can stop stressing about their money.
She helps strong generous women go from feeling weighed down by their finances to feeling in control so they can focus on being present with their family and building a life they love.