The Time/Money Boundary

Posted: February 13, 2021 in Uncategorized

The final post for now in my three day series on boundaries.

This one is a little different and applies mainly to commercial work, i.e. the work we do for money. As stated earlier, everything has a cost. It might be time or resources, or money, but everything has a cost. Time is something a lot of creatives ignore, but it is hugely important. The richest person in the world and the poorest person in the world have one thing in common.

They both have a 24 hour day. I remember one time I got a commission to illustrate coloring books. The company was willing to pay $5 a page, for simple illustrations. It was two 100 page books. That’s $1000. Well even today $1000 is a decent chunk of change. What I failed to see was 200 publishable drawings takes time, and way more time than I estimated. I finally got the thousand dollars, but it took all my spare time (I was also working full time) for weeks. For that thousand dollars, which could easily have been spent with one unseen expense is seconds, I traded a lot of family time that I will never get back. People say “Time is money” and that’s true I suppose, but time is also really precious, so use it wisely. 

These days I try to be more careful how I spend my time. Notice that phrase that we take for granted. “Spend my time.” Think about what that means. These moments that we have will all be “spent” one day. Are you using them wisely? If you decide to spend time on a project, will it be worth the investment? That’s a question we must always be asking. And for Christians it’s not always a matter of money. It could also be “Will this time I am spending bear fruit for the Kingdom?”

I’m trying to invest my time better these days. I’m starting to ask “Will this project be worth the amount of time it will take? Will it advance my mission and God’s Kingdom? Will my family receive a real benefit? or “Will this make the people God has given me in my life say, “He was never there?” I have used a lot of years that way. I’m trying to do better now. 

You only have 24 hours a day and a finite number of days. The past is gone. What will you do with the time that is left? The old chestnut is true. No one on their death bed wishes they spent more time at the office. Time is a boundary. Use it wisely. 

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