Budgeting time requires different strategies for different contexts and schedules.1
Still, saying all of that leaves out one very important question: Do you really need to budget your time in the first place?
Reasons You Need to Budget Your Time
I’d like to suggest that the answer to this question is a firm “Yes” for at least four reasons.2
In particular, you need to budget your time in order to
- Manage your commitments because your time is limited, but your possible commitments are unlimited.
- Get the most out of it not only by doing more things but also—and more importantly—by doing more important things.
- Avoid schedule crises. Schedules don’t always go to plan. And if you haven’t balanced your scheduling budget in advance, you’ll find yourself in larger crises more often when the unexpected arrives.
- Avoid guilt and shame. You will spend your time. How you spend it reflects what you chose or endorsed as a priority. If you spend your time intentionally, you will disappoint someone at some point. But you don’t have to feel guilt or shame about that if you know you’ve done your best to choose what’s most important.
In short, you can spend your time intentionally. Or it will get spent for you.
Intentionality is critical to knowing what you should do with the time you have. And creating a time budget can help you ensure you’re making the choices about your time that you really feel are the best.
I’m here using the metaphor of financial budgeting as described, for example, in Financial Peace University; “10 Budgeting Myths You May Be Falling For,” Dave Ramsey, n.d.; “What Is a Budget?,” Dave Ramsey, n.d.; “A Zero-Based Budget: What and Why,” Dave Ramsey, n.d. ↩