Stop, Thief!

Somewhere in your life there is a thief. It’s probably a friend, a relative, or one of your online friends. The goal is to take something so valuable, you can’t buy it: time.

clockThe time thieves in your life are subtle. Sly. And you fall for them in big and small increments. It’s time you’ll never get back.

The friend who asks you to go shopping with her. You don’t need anything, and you went to lunch with her earlier in the week. You know this friend wants to bend your ear with gossip, problems, and long whines. Substitute a phone call and you will have 90 minutes you get to spend more wisely.

You just want to check in on your friends on Facebook, and after a few minutes, you look at the clock and notice two hours have vanished. You’ll never get them back. Set a timer to limit screen time.

You also give away your time as if you had endless amounts. You volunteer for projects at work that no one else wants. You want to be a team player. Laudable goal, but take on extra, unrelated-to-your-goals  projects only if you can easily complete it and it teaches you something.

You spend hours “keeping in touch” with friends by texting. You text at meals, while you are talking to other friends. You aren’t giving of yourself, you are simply filling time that could be better spent having real conversations.

Time seems limitless until it is not. It’s smart to budget your time, use it to make meaning and not let others steal it. Give it freely, spend it happily, but don’t let anyone take it without your permission.

—Quinn McDonald wishes she could save up time and use it on days that speed by too quickly.