The biggest mistake you can make is to live your life as if you had infinite time on your hands. Here is an example.
I moved out of my hometown when I was 27. This is an old European city with lots of history and landmarks to it that lots of tourists come to see every year.
I haven’t seen all of the landmarks or visited all the museums. In fact, the first time I saw a lot of the attractions myself was when I was giving others a tour of the city.
This seems to be typical of many other city dwellers. After all, all of those museums and attractions are there. They are not going anywhere. You can see them every time.
Until you can’t.
Your Time Is Not Infinite
A lot of us seem to be taking this “it can wait” approach towards many other things in life. We are not pursuing our dreams or spending enough time with our loved ones because they are always there and we can do it anytime.
The routine gets us and we let the multitude of the day’s little problems completely obscure the big picture.
I’ll start that yoga class after the youngest one goes to preschool. I’ll be spending more time with my wife after I finish this one project at work. I’ll do this when…
Days turn into weeks, weeks turn into months and then years, and we find that a huge chunk of our life is forever gone attending to stuff we can’t even remember.
Your time is not infinite. Every day, you have one day less to live, and one day less to do the things you have been postponing for months or years. The time to do those things is now.
Budget the Time for the Important Things
One strategy that I have found to be effective is to proactively budget the time for the important things in your life.
For example, I love DJing but I have been finding myself moving nowhere for quite some time because I just “didn’t have the time” to find new tracks. Now I proactively budget at least a few minutes daily to look for new music, and that helps immensely.
(Incidentally, this is very closely related to my favorite “baby steps” method of reaching goals, which I will be talking about later.)
It’s really easy – if you don’t put money aside first, you will have nothing left at the end of the month. If you don’t proactively budget time for the important people and projects in your life, the routine will eat it all.
What this all really is about is remembering the big picture. And you better remind yourself of it when you deal with your most precious asset – time.
Because those important things may no longer be there when you finally decide to attend to them.