What is important to you?
- Your finances?
- Your family?
- Your job?
To know what you really value, you need only look at your bank statement and your calendar. Because it is the things that take up your time and money that are what is really important to you. Many times I have met other people who say that they like to travel. So I ask them, where and when was your last trip? Invariably, they will say:
Oh, well I went to Hawaii last spring for a week. It was a wonderful trip!
It is mind-boggling that anyone who loves to travel would have only gone on one week vacation in the last 18 months. So either they do not love to travel, which is probably not true, or they are not focused on their love of travel. I can honestly say that I love to travel. If you asked me about my trips taken last month in September, my reply would be:
I went to Singer Island, Florida, on the first weekend to spend time with my sweet husband,
then on the third weekend, I went to Asheville, North Carolina to visit my family and go hiking,
and then on the fourth weekend, I went to Texas to visit my middle sister and her family (and we all got pedicures!) It was a great month!
I would say that you can look at my calendar and see what I value (travel) because it takes up my time. I decided that I would do an audit of my week to see what else I prioritize.
If you asked me what I is important to me, I would say:
My husband, my family and friends, my faith, my financial health, and my physical health.
So where did my 168 hours (24 hours x 7 days) go last week from Monday to Sunday? Times listed below are approximate:
- A third of my time is spent sleeping = 58 hours (yes, I sleep in on Saturday and Sunday)
- Over a quarter of my time is at job = 45-50 hours (this fluctuates higher when I am busy at work)
- Television = 12 hours or 7% (oh, dear!)
- Dinner with my hubby = 7 hours or 4%
- Reading books and online = 6 hours or 4%
- Working out = 5 hours or 3%
- Volunteering to help a mentee change her financial life = 5 hours (usually less but met twice this week) or 3%
- Driving = 4 hours (I have a short 15 minute drive to work for 2.5 hours a week but also do errands. I often use this time to catch up with family and friends. I hate wasted time.) or 2%
- Showers, getting ready, brushing teeth, etc = 4 hours or 2%
- Yard work, cleaning, laundry = 4 hours or 2%
- Church = 2 hours or 1%
- Not sure = 11 hours or 7%
Well, my first take away is that although I am not surprised how much of a time-suck television is, I must admit that it is still a bit embarrassing to write down that I spend that much time with it. But if I want my week to look differently than it does, then I have to be more intention about my time. So let’s look at what my time not sleeping looks like;
So my take away from my time audit is that I want to spend less time watching tv, more time with my husband and my friends, and somehow squeeze in two new items (blog writing and learning Spanish) in my 11 hours of “not sure what I do”!
Part two of my priority audit is to look at my bank account. This one is not quite as embarrassing to share because I spend a lot of time thinking about and planning what to do with my money, which means that my actions are aligned with my goals.
My priorities are saving money, paying down my mortgage, giving back, traveling, and living life.
Looking at my money audit, I can say that my priorities and my money are aligned, because I have been purposeful. If you don’t plan your time, it disappears and if you don’t plan your spending, it also disappears – and likely to places that are not be a priority for you.
What about you? What does your time or money audit say about you and your priorities? Did you decide to change something? I would love to hear about it.