Are you a Dave Ramsey fan? Whether you are or not, you must admit that he has some pretty sound advice in the realm of money management, and after doing some thinking lately, it has occurred to me that some of what he teaches may be applied to time management too. Time is money, after all!
You see, for a while now I have had difficulty managing my time, and since I struck out on my own it has become a particular challenge for me. It’s hard to come home after working eight hours straight and get everything done at home that needs to get done–after all, don’t I need a break now? But the breaks swallow my hours whole, and only make me feel guilty later for squandering precious time. The result? Always feeling like I’m behind on life, and having no hope of relaxation while the tasks continue to weigh on my brain.
It’s not an optimal situation or attitude, but a friend of mine gave me some good things to think about recently when he asked if I ever take time off. “Time off?” I said, “you mean from work work?” My paid job is Monday through Friday, so I have Sundays and Saturdays off from that, but while I talked with my friend, I realized that Saturdays and Sundays had merely become “days when I work on things other than my paid job,” and I was really not giving myself any time off to relax.
“Wait a minute,” you say. “I thought you were going to talk about Dave Ramsey!” Yeah, I’m getting there. You see, having a budget is very important, but many people are kind of leery of tying themselves down to a strict budget, especially those who are more free spenders. For that reason, Dave Ramsey prescribes as one of the budget categories blow money, that is, money that can be spent on anything you want. He says it doesn’t matter how much money you put in there, just as long as you intentionally plan to make it blow money. Blow money is like the grease that lets the machine run smoothly–without it, there’s no wiggle room and the machine breaks.
I realised that in my time budgeting, I was trying to run a machine without grease. Naturally, I ended up taking time off because I needed it, but that time was not budgeted, so afterward I felt guilty. What’s the solution? Blow time! I’ve decided to take one evening every week to relax, and completely forget about my to-do list. I tried it on Monday, and it worked marvelously! I ended up eating ice cream, writing lyrics, and watching a live concert on the Internet. If I hadn’t planned this, I would have considered the evening a total flop and waste of time, but as it was, I intentionally set it aside for relaxation, and that did the trick! Also, so far this week I feel like I have been more productive overall as a result.
So if you’re having trouble with keeping to your time plan, why not try some blow time? It might be just what you need to keep working hard and staying happy and healthy.