The Currency of Time

Have you ever taken the time to write down how much of your week you spend doing different activities? Yesterday, I determined that I spend 17 hours of my week on average engaged with church activity. This is significant, since I am not in any way an employee of our church. I spend 40 hours a week at my place of employment and I spend six hours a week running a hot sauce company. But 17 hours a week is devoted to a pursuit with no money attached to it.

Somebody once asked me why I spend so much unpaid time on church ministry. I don’t remember exactly how I answered at the time, but I do remember thinking about why he asked the question. He likely found it incredulous that I gave so many hours of my week to something that had no monetary value. “Is that a valuable use of your time,” he probably thought.

I suppose it all comes down to defining value for oneself. If socializing holds value for you, you will either spend many hours socializing (or you will spend many hours frustrated). The same goes for anything from yard work to baking to watching NHL hockey games.

Where your treasure is, there will your schedule be also.

And so I find that church ministry is one type of activity I find immensely valuable. It is a way of feeling connected to Jesus, something I have devoted my life toward. It may not always lead to a deeper spiritual life, but most times, I find that my faith grows in the pursuit of loving others through the vehicle called church.

Anyway, back to how to spend your time. Far be it from me to tell you such a thing, since I don’t know what you hold valuable. But think about time like currency:

  1. You have a limited amount of it

  2. You try your best to make wise purchases

You likely buy money with your time. It’s called a job. You hopefully buy sleep with your time (one of the most precious purchases you can make). But because there is a limited amount of it, you are always buying something at the expense of something else. You could sleep an extra hour, but you might not get breakfast. You could go to your mom’s house for dinner, but then you won’t get to watch the hockey game.

I guess my major point is this: are you spending your time on the things of the greatest value, and if not, how can you budget to get the most value possible every day?

For those of you who thought I would have a clear answer to this question, I apologize for not providing it. The truth be told, I am still trying to figure it out. I want more hours so that I can buy all the activities that interest me. But some days, I seem to spend a lot of my time on low-value products. Social media binging. YouTube marathons. You know what I mean.

Somewhere in here is a suggestion that willpower is a missing ingredient to a well-managed budget of my time. But as is the case with so much of my life, even that is a serious work in progress. Perhaps I will have to spend more time thinking about it.

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