Have you heard this analogy before?
“Imagine there is a bank account that credits your account each morning with $86,400. It carries over no balance from day to day. Every evening the bank deletes whatever part of the balance you failed to use during the day. What would you do do? Draw out every cent, of course? Each of us has such a bank. Its name is time. Every morning, it credits you with 86,400 seconds. Eery night it writes off as lost, whatever of this you have failed to invest to a good purpose. It carries over no balance. It allows no over draft. Each day it opens a new account for you. Each night it burns the remains of the day. If you fail to use the day’s deposits, the loss is yours. There is no drawing against “tomorrow.” You must live in the present on today’s deposits. Invest it so as to get from it the upmost in health, happiness and success. The clock is running. Make the most of today.”
Source – Unknown.
Pretty good right? When you make time an easily accessible idea like money, suddenly how you use it and how you want to use it becomes much more clear.
What if we applied this concept to human energy? Let’s pretend you get 100 miles on your car everyday. The tank refills automatically every night, and that is the only time it can be refilled, so you can only go your 100 miles. If you didn’t use any of your miles one day, you have a full tank ready to go for tomorrow. If you run out of gas on the road, the amount of miles you had to use to make it back to your destination will be deducted from your miles for the next day. You get equal milage on highways, traffic, backroads, etc (bear with me!) – so the only thing that matters is your 100 miles.
Now imagine all of the activities in your life that require energy whether mental energy, physical energy, emotional energy, or other. The more energy that an activity requires, the more mileage it requires.
Here is a sample list: Work – 70 miles, exercise – 10 miles, cooking/cleaning – 15 miles, taking care of pets – 5 miles. Uh oh – no miles for a relationship today. Should you minus 5 for tomorrow? Or wait and configure your miles for the next day differently?
Here is a different example: Work – 20 miles, children – 60 miles, spouse – 5 miles, housework – 10 miles, reading/self-care – 5 miles. You decided your partner needed 10 miles to spice things up recently, where will that fit? What about the online class you’re taking? Or blog you were trying to keep up with? How will the miles get used? Today or tomorrow, or the next day?
Eventually, if you keep “borrowing” miles from the next day, you will be left with a day with only a few miles on it, and you might even need to take a break from behind the wheel. So the big question is, are you satisfied with how you are using your miles? If you are, that’s fantastic! If you aren’t, where can you make some changes? What patterns are you noticing in where your miles go and how it leaves “miles” for other activities? Where is there room for miles to get used differently?
What if you had $86,400 in your bank account daily and 100 miles you could drive? How would you use it? How would you spend your time and energy?