With the New Year looming just around the corner, many of you will be in the process of deciding on what you'd like to do over the next year, what you'd like to ship and how you'd like to live your life over the next year.
When you go out to a restaurant to eat, do you order items off the menu without having an idea about how much it costs? When you plan a trip abroad or within the country, do you book the hotel and flights that catch your fancy without having an idea about how much it costs?
You will likely not. Because you have a limit on how much you can afford to spend that defines your budget. You will only make the choices that fit within your budget. And at the same time, you will not spend a big portion of your budget buying souvenirs while forcing yourself to stay at a shady hotel, eating one Subway meal a day. Because that is not the ideal way to utilise your budget.
The key is to get the most out of your budget.
'Getting the most out of the budget' means different things to different people. While some spend it on staying at a fancy resort with colourful cocktails, others might spend it on adventure sports and some others might spend it on gourmet restaurants that serve local food. But they are all optimising their budget to get the most out of it.
Money is something we actively spend. Every time you have to purchase something, you are actively making a choice, at that very moment, as to whether you see value in parting with your money for whatever it is that you are getting in return.
Whereas, time isn't. Time is something that you spend at a constant rate irrespective of what you get in return.
Spending time is somewhat similar to having a Netflix subscription. You pay a constant amount every month to Netflix irrespective of whether you watch a thousand hours worth of movies and shows or ten hours worth.
But, whatever you wish to get done over the next year comes at a price. You may think about it as active spending (the way we generally spend money) or passive spending (the way we generally spend time). And we are all a lot better at managing our money than managing our time. And the simple reason for that being that we spend one actively while we spend the other passively.
Over the last two years, I have changed this for myself. I spend my time actively. And that helps me find time to do a lot of things that I otherwise wouldn't. It makes it easy to say yes to something and say no to some other things.
The process is simple. Each day is divided into twelve blocks of time. That makes it a total of 365 x 12 = 4380 blocks of time for the year.
And that is your currency for the year.
Come the end of the year, you will have spent it one way or another. But would you have spent it in a way that is meaningful, useful and profitable to you? Or would you have paid for a Netflix subscription for a year to watch a single movie?
If you'd like a template of my yearly planner with detailed instructions on how to get the best value from it, I'm giving it away at ₹99. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org for details.