It’s one of modern life’s little jokes. You either have money or you have time, rarely, it seems do you have an abundance of both at the same time. Invariably when I’ve had the cash flow to undertake new projects I haven’t had the time to implement them. I don’t need to tell you how frustrating that is, I’m sure you’ve had your own experience of it.
This is where the ‘big rocks’ come in to the picture. If you’re not aware of what your big rocks are you can waste a lot of time and money on pebbles and sand.
How do you figure out what’s important to you? Sometimes you need to decide what is NOT important to you and work backwards – you’re bound to notice a few trends appearing. For example, I don’t particularly care about the latest fashions. Having 17 pairs of shoes in the latest colour, heel shape or pattern doesn’t appeal to me. I would much rather purchase a pair of shoes that I can wear every day, are comfortable and will last a long time (see picture). Therefore, I can construe from this observation that I value function over fashion. The next step is to see if I can apply the ‘function over fashion’ principle to other areas of my life, for instance; clothes, furniture, plants, bed linen. I’m sure you’ll see a pattern emerging, too. If you’re like me and are a function over fashion person, you’ll probably have all white bed linen and dinner sets and, basic black will play a large role in your wardrobe.
Knowing this means I’m not tempted to buy a fashion item because I know I won’t value it and it will be clutter within a week. That knowledge alone constantly pays extra off my mortgage.
Which are you; fashion or function? If you’re a fashion person, that knowledge can still save you money. Knowing that you’re likely to buy several pairs of shoes each season means that you can choose to spend less on each pair because you know you’ll only wear them for a short time, that way your overall spend for the season will be much less.
Knowing what your big rocks are enables you to be discerning about how you spend your time, too. Are you wasting your time on pebbles and sand? Do you spend two or 3 hours per evening watching television? What else could you spend that time on? If eating healthy meals and snacks made from scratch is important to you, then just one evening per week with the television off could be spent baking or preparing snacks or lunches for the week. Ultimately, using the time this way, saves you both time and money.
Thinking about the way I spend my time and money enables me to see where I am losing or wasting both. My aim is always to accomplish as much as I can each day that contributes to my goals – being mindful of both time and money is a large part of that.