How to get your time back and live a happier life
TECHNOLOGY should give us more free time, but instead it distracts us. We are pulled out of the present and put on lists of things that we think we should do. Instead of taking time from work, we take our work with us. It’s a trap that makes us feel bad.
Ashley Whillans’ Time Smart helps us move from lack of time to wealth of time. The key is how we think about time and money.
Would you rather have less money and more time, or would you like to work more for more money and have less time? We tend to overestimate money and underestimate time. Since we tend to spend as little money as possible, we rarely think of trading money for time. We constantly make compromises between time and money. “All of these decisions shape the happiness we draw from moments, days and our entire life.”
Whillans identifies six traps that are saving us time. That’s too many things and not enough time to do them. In order to become temporally intelligent, we need to recognize these time traps in our lives: technology (constant interruptions that fragment our time), a money / work focus (I’ll work hard now so I can afford more free time than that for a later date) never comes), undervaluing time, busyness as status, aversion to idleness and saying yes because we believe we will have more time later than now.
How do we start to reverse that? Whillans says the first thing you should determine is whether you are more money minded – willing to sacrifice time to have more money – or time-minded – ready to sacrifice money to have more time. One is no better than the other, but “People who value money and are happier that way still benefit from making time-based decisions.” Our focus can change over time. The older we get, the more time becomes a focus.
We should have free time, but it should be the right one. “Free time devoted to active leisure – activities like volunteering, socializing, and exercise – promote happiness far more than spending time doing passive leisure activities like watching TV, napping, or mailing online.”
Fund money by outsourcing tasks or parts of tasks that you do not like. Make fewer comparative purchases (we spend hours saving just a few dollars) or drive two miles out of the way to save ten cents on a gallon of gas. Account for your time.
While research shows that “People who value time are happier, healthier, and more productive than those who value money over time, it is not easy to turn all of these into time-consuming habits, let alone wrap our thoughts around them.
Whillans offers eight strategies to improve the prioritization of time:
1. Discuss your why
Ask why you are doing what you are doing. If it’s just about killing time or for no reason, then stop doing it. One practice she had that struck me in this regard was the substitution list. Add activities that make better use of your time. Like this:
Phone games before meetings / INSTEAD of: Chat with colleagues
Surf the site before and after lunch / INSTEAD: walk for 15 minutes before lunch, do nothing afterwards.
In the morning, select Spotify playlists / INSTEAD: go ahead and let Spotify choose the playlist.
2. Allow (or schedule) some rest
While you want to replace time-consuming activities, you don’t want to fill your schedule with it. The rest period enables spontaneity. “By prioritizing efficiency, we’re more likely to miss opportunities to connect with weak bonds: people who are likely to bring us creative ideas and new opportunities.”
3. Know your calendar mindset
Whillans is referring to two calendar mindsets here: clock-time people and event-time people. Time people don’t switch to a new activity because it feels right. You do it because it is time to do it. On the other hand, at event time, people allow events to schedule. There is a time for both. Know your basic approach and implement your plans accordingly.
4. Create intentions
Pay attention to how you spend your time on specific action statements. If you want to read more books, say, “I’ll use my path to listen to books on tape.”
5. Implement rewards and penalties
When your time goals go well, reward yourself. If not, you have to implement costs. Apps like Beeminder “take $ 5 off your credit card for every goal you fail.”
6. Engineer standard settings
Turn off your notifications. Check less often. There are also apps – Freedom and Ransomly – to help you do this. Just say no. “Some of my co-workers have already created an automatic email reply to say, ‘Thank you for your message. I usually check emails once a day at 8:30 a.m. “
7. Recognize and combat the sheer urgency
When faced with important tasks, we sometimes hesitate and work on simpler, less important activities as an avoidance mechanism. If it’s not urgent and important, schedule it for later or delegate it to someone else.
8. Make free time leisurely
Do you actually enjoy the free time you have created? Separate the value of the activity from the cost. “Don’t think about how much the vacation cost or whether the house cleaner was worth the financial investment. Instead, think about how nice it is to spend extra time with your friends and family. “
We have to have the long term view of our life. Whillans says, “You have to look five to ten years ahead and think about how big life choices affect your timing decisions.” In a study of college graduates, they found that “students who prioritized time were happier than those who prioritized money”.
Time is not money. Money is time. And we all only have so much of it. It’s time to make time a priority before it runs out.
How did it come so late so quickly?
It is night before the afternoon.
December is there before June is.
Gosh, how time has passed.
How did it come so late so quickly?
– Dr. Seuss * * *
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Posted by Michael McKinney at 12:03 am
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