Ever since I learned that the Dutch word for “to spend” (besteden) is used not just with time and money, as in English, but also with attention, I’ve started to wonder what else we have that we spend, and could be spending more wisely. Here is an incomplete list I’ve compiled:
- Money (of course).
- Time. Budgeting your time is another familiar concept to many of us.
- Attention. The idea of an attention economy is especially relevant today as social media and advertising agencies vie for views and clicks.
- Effort/energy. Have you heard the advice to manage your energy, not your time?
- Willpower? It used to be generally accepted that you spend willpower doing difficult tasks and making decisions, leaving less for later, but that’s no longer certain.
- Flexibility. This one I don’t see talked about so much. Have you ever tried to set up a time to get together with someone, told them “I’m free any day the week of the 15th” or something, and then been unable to make any other plans for that week while you’re waiting to hear back? Somehow you’ve spent all your flexibility at once. I try to ration it out—”Does the 15th, 17th, or 18th work for you?”—so that I still have some flexibility for making other plans.
What else do you spend? Thanks for spending your time and attention on my blog this year—see you in 2019!