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Use Your Time Wisely. Feel Better.

“Time is money.” – Benjamin Franklin

I saw that Benjamin Franklin wrote this, and all I could think of was how appropriate it is that he wrote it, given the fact that his face is on the 100 dollar bill. Little did he know that there would be a rap song about him (It’s All About The Benjamins) and that it would later be remixed, or that Ice Cube would be in a movie featuring his name (All About The Benjamins). Needless to say, Ben marked his place in history, and he has stayed relevant by virtue of “money.” Time really has been money for Mr. Franklin, and time continues to pass far after he did. But we are getting way off topic here.

In truth, time is money. But it is more than that, right? Time is family. Time is fun. Time is friends. It is all things necessary and unnecessary for all time. So, what do we do with it? That varies from person to person, from day to day.

It is not uncommon for someone to experience great happiness, success, or adventure because of what they do with their time. They could climb a mountain in Yellowstone, teach their child to ride a bicycle, or pitch a great proposal to their boss. Deciding what your values, priorities, and goals are has a lot to do with time, how you use it, and whether you feel that you’ve done so successfully. When we are successful with using our time, it can be a great feeling. It helps us to accomplish what we want, and accomplishment is fantastic. Put a checkmark on the to-do list, sit back, look at your work. Done.

…….but what if you don’t use your time in a way that is in line with your values, priorities, and goals? Maybe not the same feeling.

Difficulty in using time effectively can cause a significant amount of stress in someone’s life. It can lead to anxiety because of being unprepared for something that needs to be done. Poor planning (time management) can also contribute to this, because of constantly rushing due to being late. It may contribute to feeling hopeless or depressed because it seems like one can never effectively manage time or simply doesn’t know how. To get to the point, difficulty managing time can affect grades, work performance, sports, time with family, relaxation time, and so on.

What causes issues with using time the way we would like? Time management can be affected by quite a few factors that are unique to each individual. Some of these factors are failure to keep a schedule/log/calendar/agenda of any kind, taking on too much at one time, and having several events or changes occur at once. A couple of other factors that I see frequently are: distraction (social media, video games, & television in particular) and neurological causes.

What can be done to fix it? The solutions are as unique to the individual as the cause. Some common things that people may find useful:

  • Addressing planning and organization or taking on only as much as one can handle. Some ways to do this are:
    • To-do list (I know, you may think that is cheesy). Most phones have this function now.
    • Utilize a calendar – paper, online, iCalendar, etc.
    • If you are thinking of taking on a new task or responsibility, take a look at how much free time there is currently. Is there time for “one more thing?”
  • Changes in diet may also help in this area. We know that highly processed foods, particularly quick-digesting carbohydrates, contribute to issues associated with misuse of time.
  • In instances where there is a neurological issue, one may find it useful to consult a medical professional about assessment for appropriateness of medication.
  • Since media causes a lot of distractions, consideration could be given to limiting time or taking a break from electronic media.
  • Neurofeedback therapy is another service available.

As always, if your use of time is not suiting you and you want to look further into this, please feel free to contact me. Have a great rest of your day!