Who is driving your time use?

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Did you read my last post, about budgeting your time, and think “might work for you, but you don’t understand my life!”?

I get it, really, I do. I know when you have kids things come up. I know friends, in-laws, your boss, and so many others drop things on you and expect you to spend some of your limited time doing something for or with them.

Maybe you need to learn to say no more often.

If you are asked to spend time on something you don’t think is important, and it robs you of time you would be devoted to what you think is important, then no is the right answer – even if it offends someone. Whom you offend and how much you offend them is a consideration, but letting others decide how you spend your time is like letting others decide how you spend your money!

If a certain friend or group of friends demands more time than you think you should give, maybe they are not such great friends. Are they worth the cost? Is what you get from them worth as much as what you would get from spending the time in another way? The same applies to family – being related to you does not give them the right to make you spend your money or your time as they think you should.

You cannot usually say no to your boss, but you can look for another job. If your job is keeping you from having a life, or keeping your wife and/or kids from having you with them, maybe you need to rethink the job. Maybe you also need to rethink how much you have so you can work less and have more time for life.

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6 Comments on “Who is driving your time use?

  1. Saying no “even if it offends someone” is so hard for many people. But what we often forget is that while we are avoiding an offense to someone who, in the larger scheme of things, really isn’t all that important in our lives, we are creating an offense to those closest to us, those whose needs and feelings should be a top priority.

  2. Families can suffer with opportunities that careers offer. Travel, promotions, special projects can pull you away from your family and the time can slip by so quickly.

    Your family copes without you but is it fair to them? Is it fair to you – what you are missing? Be careful what you volunteer (or get volunteered) for. Understand the timing and the cost. Is it the right thing to do now?

  3. What about if you can’t agree on how your spouse spends their time? My husband has been working a lot of hours lately leaving me home alone with our baby and two older children. I agreed to be a SAHM so that’s in my job description. His brother is moving out of state in a few days though and now my husband has been using his days off the take all day trips with his brother- coming home past midnight, and just generally being to exhausted when he’s not working since he’s pushing himself on 3-4 hours of sleep frequently.

    I understand his brother is leaving and he wants to spend time with him, but I feel I get sidelined all the time. When I asked why he changed his half-day trip tomorrow on his day off to a full day trip, he said it was his brothers choice. His mom told him that she understands I’m annoyed he hasn’t been around muh lately but his brother is leaving and I’m his wife so I’ll get over it. I’m not askin him to ditch his brother, I just don’t see eye to eye on him having to spend all his free time over there and making plans that have him gone until 1 in the morning on his days off.

    • S – If the brother is leaving very soon, I would let it go for now. Then later, try to discuss the bigger issue. Don’t make it about his brother or this event, but talk about time use in general.

      I would also think about this and try to determine if he is being unfair or there is a basic difference. If it were you and your sister, would he be okay with or even expect you to do the same thing? Or would it bother him. How you should deal with it should vary depending on which of these is true. Is it a double standard on his part, of a difference in standards for the two of you.

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