How we spend our time, is what we are investing ourselves in as humans. At this point in my life, things are simple. I am invested in skiing, an education, and my personal mental health. The first two are self-explanatory, but the third is a little odd. As much as I like spending hours on essays and watching ski video, it is not what I strive to do day in and day out. I put mental health in there because ski training and school can be stressful and quite often it is very unenjoyable. When these two investments are not enjoyable, it is vital to put in activities that are. Here we have hunting, fishing, concerts, friends, powder skiing, water skiing, surfing, and whatever else can simply put a smile on my face. I do not see a point in pursuing a dream with a frown on your face at all times.
Time runs our lives. It also runs the sport I do. In ski racing success is literally measured with time. The concept of spending my entire life trying to figure out how to save 1 second of time in a race course, really makes me second guess myself (it goes away quickly after the thought). Good use of my time has become increasingly vital to any success I have. If I am good at time management, I can accomplish everything I need to get done and still have my beloved mental health.
During a Western Region prep camp this October, Cody Marshall introduced me to something he calls time driven activity based costing. Despite the technical (and really smart sounding) language, time driven activity-based costing boils down to two things. The first is answering the question: where do you spend your time. Once you know where you spend your time, you know where you spend your money. Or in my case, where I am investing my time is where I am investing in myself as a person.
Using this framework Cody and I were able to get very clear on what I was spending my time on and how I could operate more efficiently. We started by creating a budget for my time which we broke down by specific activities that I do every day. Once we created a budget I started tracking my time throughout the day. At the end of the camp we reviewed my actual time (time tracked) versus budgeted time. By doing this I got a clear understanding of how long things (actually) take and where I could find some efficiencies in my routine.
Although this trick has not allowed me to miraculously do more with my day, it has allowed me to be better at certain aspects of life. I got better at tasks because I set aside enough time to accomplish them properly. For example, I always thought that tuning my skis took around 30 minutes. Since I started tracking my time, I have not accomplished an adequate ski prep in under 1 hour. Therefore, if I said I was going to tune my skis and do 30 minutes of homework in an hour, I would not have time for my homework. Easy fix though, homework is for losers. Just kidding, but I would have to choose between doing homework or going to dinner with my friends. With this example, you can see that miss-allocation of time compounds throughout the day, and eventually something suffers.
I am not saying manage your time so you can do fun things. I am saying manage your time and spend your time on things you want to invest yourself in. I have a teammate, Ty Sprock. The kid loves to ski, but he also LOVES to surf. He will literally move mountains, take tests early, do a group project by himself, or anything else if that means he can go surfing for a weekend.
Invest your time, or yourself, in things you want to accomplish. The better you can manage your time the more effective you will be at being the person you want to be. I want a balance between skiing, an education, and my personal mental health. Ty wants more time to surf. Whatever your goals are in life, if you manage your time well you dramatically increase your chances of reaching those goals.