Time Affluence

When you have more than enough money, you have money affluence.  With it, you can buy what you want, eat what you want, drive what you want, and travel where you want.  But to have this unallocated money, or discretionary money, you probably need to spend a heck of a lot of time working.  Climbing the ladder takes a lot of time. And once you’re at the top, you probably have a lot of commitments that pull hard on your calendar.  Odds are, if you have unallocated or discretionary money (money affluence), you likely don’t have unallocated or discretionary time (time affluence).

If you have money affluence, but no time affluence, what do you really have?

To understand how much unallocated time you have, here’s an example day.  You get up at 6:00 am, leave for work at 6:30, commute for an hour to arrive at work at 7:30, eat at your desk, leave work at 5:00 pm, arrive home at 6:00 and go to bed at 10:00.  If this is your day, you have four hours of unallocated time per workday.  I know this doesn’t include the realities of cleaning, cooking, yard work, paying bills, running errands, kids’ sporting events, and a number of other commitments, but makes the upcoming math work well and doesn’t demand we acknowledge we have little to no unallocated time.

In the contrived day described above, you’re getting enough sleep but not much else – no exercise, no time to relax during lunch.  And, it’s likely you’re trading sleep for the time needed to accomplish the practical realities of daily life. But, let’s just say you have four hours of unallocated time. If you have four hours of unallocated time per day, do you think you have time affluence?

If you reduce your commute to thirty minutes, you have an extra hour of unallocated time (five). That doesn’t sound much, but you increased your unallocated time by 25%.  And if you add thirty minutes of unallocated time for lunch and thirty minutes of exercise during the workday, you add another hour of unallocated time, increasing your unallocated time to six hours, or a 50% increase over the four hours of the baseline. But, to be clear, when you assign an activity of your choosing to unallocated time, it’s still unallocated time, but it may be helpful to think of it as discretionary time.

And if you tell your boss that for your first hour of work (from 7:30 to 8:30 am) there will be no meetings, no email, no phone calls, no Skype, no Slack, you increase your unallocated time by another hour, bringing your total up to seven hours, or a 75% increase in unallocated time.

As it stands, the world will take your unallocated time unless you protect it. And you won’t free up more unallocated time unless you grab your calendar and proactively squeeze out some time for yourself.

If you have money affluence, but no time affluence, you don’t have all that much.

Image credit — becosky…

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Mike Shipulski Mike Shipulski
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