Time and money

Time is often taken for granted, taking a back seat compared to money. I have made this mistake many times. I set my mind that if i can build up enough income generating assets, be it knowledge, skills, or product, i am going to be set for life.

I realized this thinking often leads to disappointing results. Since money does not amount to anything, until i use it for something meaningful. Having this money-first mindset most of the times, makes me forget what i need the money for.

It’s probably unfair to put making money in this position, without exploring why i often have this mindset. I often have a feeling, that i have to earn everything for my keep (since i don’t have and was not given a lot in the first place). This struggle sets my mind to overdrive, a trajectory of always be earning more than what i am earning now. So then goes the self-propelling drive to always be making money.

At the core of this thinking is my obsession to perfection. I keep a motto to myself, that if i have to do anything, be it intrinsic or externally motivated, i should always do my best. So if i have to earn money, well, i better do it in the best way i can.

Now, going back to time. Lately, i’ve been spending more effort on reflecting in the things i’ve set out to do. And i realized, i have earned enough to buy me some time. Of course, time has always been there. What i realized is that the meaningful things i want to do with my time, i can already do, with the financial position i have achieved.

Not that i’m very rich that i don’t need to do work anymore. I can say, i have probably achieved a lot of goals i’ve set out for myself 15 years ago. And these reflecting moments lately is showing me, that the goals i’ve set a long time ago, are no longer effective. Or, i find them not relevant to my current self anymore.

I find myself drawn more, in the mindset of building for more time (i use building as synonymous as working, since i build stuffs for a living). I find using time as a reference to be more practical in determining how to live a good life.

Time is a linear, limited, and an easily lost resource. Comparing to money, time can not be converted. It can only be spent. So i want to make sure i always spend it right.

I look at time, as a set of blocks, that i want to spend on. Some blocks i spend on building an asset, to support me in the other blocks of time. And to spend time properly, i need to be spend a planning blocks of time, to set some goals. I also need to spend blocks of time for retrospectives, to help me learn and improve how i spend them.

In terms of what i do with them, i refer to the different aspects in life, which i talked about in my previous post. So now i have two components, there are the different aspects in my life, and second there are blocks of time i can spend on them.

I know, this sounds really obvious and logical, that it’s crazy why i miss this concept. In the heat of battle, often i forget what i’m battling for. Further, going into battle (aka living life) without starting with a good set of frameworks, will easily go astray.

Hence, the progression here of becoming better. I think this weakness is a common situation for a lot of people growing up. I’m now in my mid-30s, and i think it’s a good time for me to learn it.

I find it liberating to use time like this, since, as long as i’m spending them in all the aspects that i find meaningful, then, i can always say, i am having a good time. I get the confidence and peace of mind, that i’m investing my time well.

Now, how to measure how time is spent well? Perhaps this is a topic for a future post.