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Would you let someone take your money?

If somebody comes and occupies a room in your house for a few days, would you let that happen? If somebody took some money out of your wallet or bank account, would you let that happen? If somebody encroached on your property and made changes to it, would you let that happen?

I'm guessing you'd vehemently oppose that.

And yet, when it is our time that people encroach on, we tend to be much more accommodating and tend not to oppose it. When somebody asks to pick our brain for a few hours, or to hang out with them for a few hours, or otherwise engage us in conversation for a few hours, we are more inclined to allow that to happen than we would be if the same people asked us to hand them money (not lend them, just give them money) or buy them something.

We are much less inclined to part with our money and our material possessions than we are to part with our time.

It is easy to point this out and to tell people that they ought to value their time just like they value their material possessions and use it more wisely.

But following it is easier said than done.

So, I've been thinking why this behaviour exists in the first place. And one of the reasons that I have been able to prove by experimenting on myself is that of a scarcity / abundance mindset.

We know exactly how we can put our material possessions and money to use, and hence their value. And there is always more material possessions that we can acquire than we have the money to do so. So, we are most of the time in a scarcity mindset when it comes to money and material possessions and thus are less inclined to part with them. Of course, there are times when we are grateful for what we have and feel charitable and donate to causes we believe in, but that is still a minority case.

Whereas when it comes to our time, we don't always know what to do with it and it feels like we have a lot and we look for some ways to fill it with. Moreover, time is something that we can't hoard. So, we have to use it up now and we have to find a way to do it. And since we are often in an abundance mindset when it comes to time, we are much more inclined to let people encroach on it.

I used to be this way as well, but am much less so in recent times. And the big change that I can attribute this to is the planning that I do for my time. Once I can articulate to myself how I intend to spend my time over the coming week and year, it introduces a scarcity mindset for my time as well as I now have a set of things to get done in the time I have. And anyone encroaching on my time will force me to make a trade-off decision on whether I'm willing to give up on what I had originally planned to do in order to accept this encroachment.

And this makes it a lot easier to say no to things like social media and excess Netflix and going out very often.

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