Are You Spending Time On What You Value?


This week I wrote a post for my blog The Shop My Closet Project where I talked abut feeling alone in a crowded room. Basically, I was discussing what is becoming an increasing problem in many countries which is a serious lack of work life balance. I had a super commute (it sucked!), worked more than 40 hours a week, and was averaging a maximum of 5 hours of sleep a night.

The thing is, even though work is important to me, it’s not the most important thing in my life. In the past year I spent a lot of time asking myself the following question, “what do I value?” So, I ask that of you now.

Are You Spending Time On What You Value?

You have one life and even if you believe in reincarnation you will be a different person in that life. For your life now what is important to you? What makes you happy? Do you see your family enough? Do you spend enough time on yourself?

I read a wonderful book called “Take Time for Your Life” last year and in that book the author provides readers with an exercise that basically changed my life. She asked people to write down all of the hours we spend doing different activities such as: commuting, reading, spending time with friends, cleaning, sleeping, and feeling tired. I cried after doing that exercise because I discovered that I was so overextended and tired that I was at negative hours for the week. Basically, I was trying to do so much each week that I was exceeding the number of hours of week that exist. And, apparently this is very common.

The irony is that none of the things that I was spending so much time on were as important to me as the following: spending time with my family and friends, exercising, traveling, reading books, volunteering, and traveling. So I was left with some self-reflection about the life that I wanted to live and trying to figure out how I planned on living that life.

So I Took Action

  • I Took Vacation Time Creatively: I decided to take a day off or a half day every two to three weeks from my job. If it was too busy for that I took vacation hours that allowed me to leave my job early enough to participate in social events, go to sleep early, or spend time doing what was important for me.
  • Made A Vision Board: I needed to have a very clear vision of what was important to me. Creating a vision board was a wonderful way to connect with the different parts of my life that I wasn’t focusing on in the way that I felt I should.
  • Said “No”: I became very comfortable saying “no” to situations that weren’t serving me well. I realized that I said “yes” a lot to help with projects, help out other people, etc. And, I had to take a step back and figure out how to serve MYSELF well and it has been a revelation.
  • Focused On Rest: I also needed to rest. I was so tired that I couldn’t really enjoy spending time with people when I did have time available. So I really focused on managing my sleep deprivation.

I am so much happier than I have been in previous years and I can’t believe it all started with a book that I found at the thrift store for .25 cents. I would strongly encourage you to check out “Take Time For Your Life.” I am not an affiliate or receiving any compensation for this endorsement. I just love the difference that this book has made to my life.

Are You Spending Time On What You Value?



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I am an obsessive foodie, but not self-righteous with it, love travel, meeting new people, helping you look good, and am freaked out by people who don't enjoying reading...something! I have always liked issues connected to personal finance, the movement of money on a bigger scale, and now am fascinated by how people’s emotions affect their personal spending. You can read more at: I’ve had an amazing time writing for my blog, The Shop My Closet Project, and love the transformative power of connecting with people through writing.

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