This is NOT a blog post about time management tips. Billy Lang wrote this in March 2016, when he “Studied Abroad” in NYC! He was offered an internship at a marketing firm and it taught him lessons for a lifetime.
The daily grind is always fun. It can be tiring and exhausting, but at the end of the week, it is always worth it. The weekends can never come fast enough and are usually too short, but that is how it has always been. Everyone from students to employee’s wish the weekend was longer – that will never change. The experience that I am gaining now is showing me the reality of the world we live in; rarely is there enough time to do what you want to do because we are always focused on doing what we need to do.
There are many benefits from my internship this semester, but one lesson I was not expecting to learn came out of the office; enjoy the free time. As the saying goes, time is money. I prefer the saying, time is valuable. Of course, money is valuable and some people put way too much emphasis and value on money, but spending so much time sitting down in an office has really helped me appreciate the time I spend outside playing basketball, riding a skateboard or just hanging on the porch.
Unfortunately, not everyone can say that they will never need a job in their life because they have all the money they will need. The truth is, most people will need a career and a salary with benefits in order to life comfortably in this country. In this case, our time is valued as money.
However, time is not always valued or measured in money. (As much as I love to save money, I know that I will have to hand it all away in a few years’ time to repay my student loans.) To me, the time and moments that are not measured in money are the more valuable. You cannot sit down at the end of the day and say, my afternoon with Haydon was worth about $120, but my dinner with my family was $200 so therefore I should only spend my time eating dinner with family. While it is important to have family dinners, it is important for reasons that have almost nothing to do with money (unless you use these dinners as a chance to butter-up your parents for some extra pocket change.)
My experience interning at Nikko Asset Management Americas, Inc., has showed me that as a person it is healthy to be well-rounded. What I have experienced for myself is that it is easier for me to wake up on Monday morning when I know I had a fulfilling weekend. I have a better state of mind when thinking about work and it becomes less of a drag, and reason to wake up at 530 AM, and more of a means to an end, with that end being capital to spend on things I enjoy doing. When my time is money, I want to know that my actions have a purpose beyond working for the sake of work.
Yes, there are many things that I will need to have money for, as we all will. We will all have mortgages or rent, car payments, credit card bills and student loans to pay off. Those are parts of life that we have to accept. We work so that we can pay our bills without worry. While it is very important to me that I find a job that I enjoy, it is more important that I find a job that I will never have to worry about. I don’t want to second guess my decision to grab a few drinks with friends or to get some new clothes. If the time that I spend working doesn’t have the monetary value that I desire, then I will not be enjoying my free time as much as I can.
I think it is easier to understand my phrase, time is value, if you put yourself into “weekend you”. In other words, it’s Saturday afternoon and you are thinking to yourself, “What do I want to do today?” What you get done on Saturday has no monetary value, yet they are things that we need to do. Sure, you could avoid cutting your grass for weeks, but your lawn will be a disaster. We need to cut our lawns, but more importantly, we need the free time to do it. We also need the money for a lawn mower and fuel. Luckily, the time I put in at work has resulted in the means necessary for my Saturday lawn mowing. My time at work was valued in money, my time on Saturday was valued in a freshly cut lawn. Yet without enough time, I either will not be at work or not our cutting my grass.
If my time at work did not result in enough money for me to cut my lawn, then something is wrong. My time is not being valued enough; a problem that is very hard to solve and is a widely disputed political point – a living wage. But that’s not the point I am trying to get across (although it is an interesting aspect to how we measure the value of our time). What I am trying to get across is what I am learning during my internship. In this case, I have learned how to further enjoy my time. Yes – I enjoy my time working and the experience that I am gaining, but I am also enjoying my time outside of work even more. Before, when I used to work a few nights a week in a restaurant, I considered everything free time. Even when I was at work I was constantly walking around and chatting with customers about the day and the weather. Now that my environment has changed to something I was originally not used to, I needed to find ways to better enjoy time not spent working. If I had not learned about the balance my mind requires, I would still be dreading Monday mornings the way I did a few weeks ago.
I have a solid routine for the days I am working, a routine that is simple, easy and effective. I get everything done in a timely manner and I never worry about it. I know how much time I need in the morning before I am ready to go, therefore, as long as I stick to my time frame, I am never worried about being late for work. When I am not at work, I have no routine.
I am happy with my recreation because I value the time I spend doing what I want. I am happy with my work because my time is valued at a price that allows me not to worry and to actually do what I want to do. Time is value.