Do you Invest your Time, or do you Spend it?

I truly dislike the expression “my time is worth money!” Is it? Is that what time is to you? Money? Time isn’t money to ME. I don’t calculate my time as dollar signs gained, or lost. I know many people who do though. It’s frustrating because usually that mindset is deeply imbedded in double standards, and selfishness.

I understand being frustrated with people who are habitually late. That’s simply rude, and disrespectful. I however cannot subscribe to the mindset that a work shift ends at 4pm, therefore the employee is expected out in the parking lot for a ride home at 4:01pm. It’s next to impossible to adhere to such strict schedules!

I’ve been the victim of a time calculator. A fitness class ending at 8pm was met with the expectation of me exiting the building at 8:01pm. If I wasn’t “out on time,” my ride home would drive off without me, forcing me to chase the car until they decided to stop. I wish I was making this up. I’m NOT.

This person SPENDS their time. This person has no issue keeping anyone waiting while they tend to their needs, or wants. In fact, their wants become strict needs, even if they are at someone else’s expense.

A lift to work is delayed because of a distraction. A nicely cooked meal sits on the table growing colder by the minute because of distractions. Homework assistance is pushed off because of distractions. Everything has to be done on their time, not meeting anyone else’s schedule, or needs. Everything is done as a grand favour and needs to be met with accolades and a king’s ransom of gratitude. Nothing however is ever done with a smile, or goodwill.

Every minute counts, unless it’s someone else’s time. Their time means everything; the clock is ticking, money is being wasted by waiting. Our time is nothing because we are blessed with the sacrifices that they are making for us. It’s really quite frustrating.

Time that is supposed to be about bonding, or connecting is also calculated. It’s punctuated by frequent email checks, text interruptions, and reminders that time is not something to be given freely. Not all of these distractions are work-related. Often there is a sports game on that takes priority to whatever else is going on in the room. Sometimes it’s a news article that requires immediate attention even if it’s nothing that concerns them directly.

Time. Those who spend their time often like to calculate how others use their personal time. It’s interesting how someone who values their own time rarely values how another person uses their personal time. What one person enjoys is often completely devalued, or disregarded as wasting time in the eyes of a “time spender.”

I like to invest my time. By investing it, I assure myself that the activities that I’m participating in, or the people that I am associating with are based on my decisions. Time spent in my mind, is time wasted doing what I’d rather not be doing, or with people I’d rather not be with. I don’t do favours with the expectation of a return on my time; I do what I can for others when I can within my limits, and boundaries.

Are you a time spender, or an investor? Maybe it’s time to take an inward look at how you use your time. Maybe it’s time to think about investing, rather than spending such a precious commodity.

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