The budget for your household ensures that you have enough money to pay your bills and save for your future. The budget for your business is there so that you can run the business and invest in future growth.
The reason you have a budget is because, unless you are independently wealthy, you perceive money as finite, limited. The truth is that while your money may be finite, it is a renewable resource; you can easily make more money.
But you have one resource which is truly finite. This resource is non-renewable; you cannot make, buy, or barter for more. When it is gone, it’s gone. Shouldn’t you have a budget for something that is so precious?
What is Most Important
It’s easy to pay lip service to the idea of what’s most important. The right answer has to be family. For that to be true your budget for time with family should reflect its importance.
The amount of time you spend with your family isn’t as important as the quality of that time. You can spend a lot of time around your family without actually being with them. But if family is at the top of the list, it needs a budget. That budget isn’t time alone, it’s also your attention and focus.
If your health ranks high on your list of what’s most important, and it must, it needs a line on your budget. Since you are your most important asset, and you are also the one who has to produce the results you want, you need to invest the time to take care of your health. Your physical health needs a budget.
The physical body isn’t the only area you need to work on if your goal is maintaining excellent health. You also have to take care of your mind, and that takes time. You have to continually read, study, and grow personally and professionally. You also have to take time to reduce your stress level.
The budget for your personal and professional growth, along with your mindset and attitude, needs to pay for the results you want in life.
The budget in the areas above are positive constraints. By budgeting this time and using it accordingly, you give yourself the time you need to produce results in line with your values. If you are over budget here, it’s like saving more money then you intended to.
Crowding Out What Matters
The budget for work needs to be a negative constraint. For this to be true, you have to believe and behave as if there is no more time in your budget when it’s gone. Even if you want to work 70 hours a week, because that’s what you need to do to produce the results you want right now, then make it 70 hours. But 71 hours means you are over budget.
If you don’t stick to your budget, you allow work to crowd out the very reasons you are working.
One Hundred Sixty-Eight
If you haven’t written a budget for your time, start with 168 hours and make a list of the areas in which you intend to invest that time. Start with what’s most important and work down from there. Then, do your best to stick to your budget, protecting what’s important from getting crowded out.
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