Time is the most important asset we have. A lot of us fail to realise this. We live in an age of technology and accessibility. Great minds are put together to create a world of efficiency, where getting from point A to point B is quicker and all it takes to connect with someone in another country is the swipe of a finger. Why? So we have more time. More time to catch up on our social media, more time to make money, more time so we can stay busy.
What you do with your time will determine who you will become. But, what we fail to realise is how investing that time will also determine our happiness. As we develop an understanding of our own mortality, we see our priorities shift. In the modern age, the impacts of social media and accessibility can distort these priorities. What is needed now more than ever is a reality check. Life is too short to waste it on things that don’t matter.
The answer lies in selfishness. I’m not talking about being a negative, self-interested narcissist. I’m talking about self-love! Understand who and what is important to you and allocate your time, energy and love accordingly. How? By regularly evaluating your decisions and understanding it is okay to say no. For example, I was recently invited to coffee with an acquaintance. To determine if I should invest my time I ask myself few questions.
- What will be the significance of this meeting in a week/month/year?
- How do I feel about spending my time/energy with this person?
- Could I be doing something better with my time?
If the catch up is not significant, has any negative feelings attached or a waste of time then I will politely decline. The great thing is this litmus test doesn’t only apply to social obligations. It can be used to evaluate the importance of decisions like reading a book instead of scrolling Instagram, or reality TV versus family time. I now understand that it is impossible to do everything to the best of my ability. Instead I am learning to prioritise using strategies like the one above. Being conscious of my time enables me to focus on the people and work I am passionate about, ultimately improving my happiness.
So when your feeling overwhelmed or faced with multiple decisions, remember the most important thing you can give someone (including yourself) is your time; it is the only asset you can’t get back.