I’m not exactly sure when I realized that time was my most precious commodity, but it was early in my career. Since then, I have had four decades to track, refine, and use my time effectively.
If you want to know why this is so important, see the article below. There are some fantastic graphs on how most people spend their time throughout their lives AND what they focus on. The absolute key is to know what season of your life you are in and then spend time where you need to.
I am not adding any bullet points today because I want you to scan down, look at your age and then see the highlights of where your time is likely best spent at this point in your life.
One tip: look at the next phase or two and get a headstart today working on the areas you know are coming down the line.
Don’t Waste Time
I recently came across data on who we spend our time with over the course of our lives.
The insights are simultaneously inspiring and depressing.
Here are 6 graphs everyone needs to see:
1. Time Spent With Parents & Siblings
Peaks in childhood and declines after age 20.
- Time with family is limited.
- Time with parents declines sharply after age 20.
- You may only see your loved ones a few more times.
Prioritize and cherish every moment.
2. Time Spent With Friends
Peaks at age 18 and declines sharply to a low baseline.
- Embrace friendship breadth, but focus on depth.
- Cherish those who are with you through good times and bad. Invest your energy in the healthy, meaningful friendships that last.
3. Time Spent With Partner
Trends upwards until death.
- Who you choose as a partner is the most important decision you’ll ever make.
- Find someone you genuinely enjoy spending time with. Never settle for less than love.
4. Time Spent With Children
Peaks in your 30s and declines sharply thereafter.
- Time with your children is short—the “Magic Years” will fly by if you let them.
- Be present in every moment. Slow down and embrace the sweetness that children bring to your life.
5. Time Spent With Coworkers
Steady during the prime working years from age 20-60.
- You’ll spend a lot of time at work.
- Who you choose to work with is one of the most important decisions you’ll make. Find work—and coworkers—that create energy in your life.
6. Time Spent Alone
Steadily increases throughout your life
- Learn to embrace solitude.
- Flex your boredom muscle regularly. Find happiness and joy in the time you have to yourself—there will be a whole lot of it as you get older.
- Family time is limited—cherish it.
- Friend time is limited—prioritize real ones.
- Partner time is significant—never settle.
- Children time is precious—be present.
- Coworker time is significant—find energy.
- Alone time is highest—love yourself.