My pastor said something recently that really impressed me. He said tell me who your friends are, how you spend your time and what you read and I will tell you who you are.
His point — time can be used to enrich and enhance your life or to tear down and destroy your life.
Did you ever notice how you feel after having a long conversation with a friend who is constantly stuck in problems? She might go from one bad relationship to another, or have health problems or marriage problems. It's draining. You get off the phone and if you're honest with yourself, you regret the time you spent going round and round on the same problems.
Last week, I really hit bottom with this issue. On Friday nights my children are with their dad so I have the whole night to myself and how I spend that time can really offer a new source of energy, passion and abundance to my life, or drain me and deplete my life.
I chose to see a movie that many friends were raving about and I set aside the night to see it. I didn't t take the time to read the storyline or any of the reviews and trusted my friends' recommendations. Well, you know what happened? It was awful, at least in my opinion. Spending almost three hours with this hideous character was a big, fat waste of time. I left that movie with my friends and said I'd never spend three hours doing something again that I didn't have an advance description about.
Spending your time productively is important because time is money. Time is our most scarce commodity and must be used wisely. My most productive friends get up between 5:00 a.m. and 5:30 a.m. They read, meditate, pray or journal. Then their day is highly scheduled and planned. It can include a three hour lunch with friends but it's planned and time is blocked.
You need to be discerning about the company you keep, the things you do and the books you read. Do your friends challenge you to solve problems (not just talk about them)? Do they give and model ways to grow and achieve more abundance in your life?
Take an inventory of how you spend your time and eliminate negative and draining friends and activities. Personally, I'm trying to make more money to buy a larger house so my time is very valuable to me. If I'm not working on my book or with my clients, then I better be doing something valuable and enriching. Don't get me wrong, a cup of tea and great conversation with a friend is very enriching to me, but an expensive dinner with a friend complaining for two hours about all her problems is a waste of time.