Think about this carefully….what is your most valuable resource? Here’s a hint…
We budget money because it has value and shouldn’t be wasted. So why don’t we budget time?
In the next 3 minutes you’re going to learn the power of zero-based time budgeting and how to create a zero based time budget for yourself. Since time is…well…money, let’s get started.
What is a Zero-Based Time Budget?
Raise your hand if you’ve never heard of time budgeting. What about a zero-based budget? When budgeting cash, the goal is to tell every dollar what to do. So if you’re budgeting $5000, you would assign every dollar a task (such as buy gas, buy food, pay rent), and you’re done when every dollar has an assignment. Here’s an example of what a zero-based budget looks like. You start with your income at the top and end with zero at the bottom:
Time budgeting is the same way…you start with 168 hours in the week, plug in how you will spend your time for the week, and end up with zero. It’s a powerful exercise, especially when you feel (like we all do) that there’s just no time. Here’s an example of a time based budget where they discovered there was time left over after all of their activities had been entered:
The Power of Zero-Based Time Budgeting
After doing a time budget you’ll discover one of two things:
- You have more time than you thought you did, or…
- You suddenly understand where you’re losing most of your time
If you have time left over (like in the example above), make sure to budget it somewhere. Time is like money, if you don’t tell it where to go it get’s lost. But unlike money, you can never get time back.
Now it’s your turn! Click the button below to download a template (just like the one above) for a Time Budget. It’s in Microsoft Excel, but feel free to go old school and just use pen/paper if you want.
Let me know what you think! I’d love to hear how this has helped you recapture any lost time!