Stop Giving Your Time Away - It's The One Thing You Can't Buy
Updated: Jan 2, 2021
I was chatting with a friend about dating. He thinks I should open some online profiles to see what kinds of guys I meet. Online dating seems a bit strange (especially in these pandemic times!) and I can’t say I am ready for it. As the conversation continued, I said, “Yeah, I guess having dinner with someone every so often can be interesting.” To which he responded, “Oh! God. Not dinner.” Not knowing the online dating rules I thought maybe I suggested a faux pas that would give my date some strange impression. “You never go to dinner on the first date, just coffee. This way if you don’t like him, you don’t waste your time.”
He is absolutely right. I never thought about it in those terms. Dating is time consuming. First you need to get the date, which means I need to spend hours creating my online profiles so that I can quickly be judged by my bio and photos. Once I get matched, I need to spend hours chatting with a few guys to decide if any of them are interesting enough to have a video call (in the wise words of my friend, you always video call so you are not surprised by carefully curated photos only to show up to a bait and switch situation). If that all checks out, you meet in person. If you’ve scheduled a dinner, the time commitment is longer than a coffee date, and there is no sense in sitting through an evening with someone you are not interested in, just to be nice - which I would do.
In the episode 6 of the Feisty Mermaids podcast (coming December 30th), I talk about time management skills. About how precious time is, and how you will never have as much time in your life as you have in this moment. Yup, that is deep. How you manage your time matters. According to my calculations, the time it will take me to get to a first date breaks down like this:
Online Profile Creation 2 hours
Matching 2 hours
Chatting 3 hours
Video calling 1-2 hours
Date coffee/dinner 1-3 hours
Even with great time management skills, to get to the first date with online dating, I will need to invest an estimated 9-11 hours of my time. And what if I get to the first date and discover he is not a dog person? HARD PASS.
Why does time management matter? I’ve become very surgical about how I spend my time and who I spend my time with. It’s not about filling every second of my day with productivity, it is about using my time to fulfill my soul’s purpose. And to do this, I need to draw boundaries around the things and people who don’t respect or value my time. I’d rather spend an hour in quiet meditation and reflection than listening to a guy who is clearly lonely, tell me about his tequila collection and how he used to be the captain of his soccer team in high school. Yawn. I'd rather work on finding my balance and peace with meditation versus giving some lonely guy an ego boost.
Be mindful about how you invest your time. Do some quick math like I did for online dating to see if something is worth your time and effort. But most importantly, minimize the time you give to anything that is not fulfilling. I will spend hours chatting with friends and sharing stories because it is part of nurturing a relationship, it is reciprocal and it brings me joy. I will immediately (and politely) tell a sales person soliciting on my driveway I am not interested in their product and that they are interrupting my sidewalk chalk art time with my daughter.
This two minute video gives you a perspective from Bill Gates and Warren Buffett.
Make it Count.
To realize the value of ONE YEAR, ask a student who failed a grade.
To realize the value of ONE MONTH, ask a mother who has given birth to a premature baby.
To realize the value of ONE WEEK, ask the editor of a weekly newspaper.
To realize the value of ONE HOUR, ask the lovers who are waiting to meet.
To realize the value of ONE MINUTE, ask a person who just missed a train.
To realize the value of ONE SECOND, ask someone who just avoided an accident.
To realize the value of ONE MILLISECOND, ask the person who won a silver medal at the Olympics.