I performed an informal audit of my life this weekend.
Some people do this just before January 1st.
I do it just before Thanksgiving as a gesture of good faith that my body will survive the avalanche of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins that I will subject it to.
Here is what I discovered during my audit: If everything that I care about was assigned a value according to my “Time Spent Voluntarily” with or doing that thing, Facebook might be at the top of the list. I mean, I would make a chart, but that might be embarrassing . . . okay, you win. See my Life Audit Chart of Shame below:
Suffice it to say, I have cut my Facebook usage down to zero for the foreseeable future.
But it made me think about what an incredibly accurate unit of measurement “Time Spent Voluntarily” is. If you value something, you spend time doing it. If you value someone, you spend time with that person. You don’t have to be forced or coerced or threatened, you engage voluntarily because you want to.
Time is also an unflinchingly honest measure. Time doesn’t lie. If you are an artist, and you consistently spend exactly 0% of your available time drawing or painting or sculpting, then your art probably is not really of value to you. If you value your family more than you value fishing, and you regularly spend twice as much time alone in a kayak with a fishing rod than you do at home, you may need to reassess which you really value more.
There are obviously things that are more or less out of our control like working hours (although there is something to be said for spending those hours doing something that you value too) and sleep hours (for me those are sacrosanct). But for the rest of our lives, how we spend our time says everything.
Sometimes we just get into our routine, and we lose track of where our available time is going. We think we are putting it into the things that we value most, but our timecard tells another story. If that is you, consider doing a life audit of your own. Watch where your available time goes for a day or a week and assess if you are putting those free hours toward the things that you value most.
Please do not believe that I am saying that you should never spend time on things you like (fishing is awesome as is art), I am actually proposing the opposite. Spend your free time doing things and being with the people you love. Be intentional about how you spend your time and you will never regret it.
Light The Darkness,