People who invest their money wisely are usually more successful than those who spend money carelessly. The same goes for people with time; those who invest their time are far more successful than those who spend it carelessly. However, the danger with spending time is forgetting that it cannot be refunded, earned or won on a Lottery ticket. Once it’s spent, it’s gone.
Mature people know they shouldn’t be careless with money; they know they shouldn’t buy things they can’t afford to pay on a credit card, live in places where we can’t afford the mortgage or rent or gamble large amounts of money which they can’t afford to lose. Mature people understand money is valuable and needs to be taken seriously as the impact of losing it can be devastating.
Most people get this concept when it comes to money.
Very few, however, understand this concept when it comes to time.
Time is more valuable than money. You can get more money, but you cannot get more time.– Jim Rohn
Time is the irreplaceable currency you’re paying with every second you breathe. You can’t work overtime to gain any time back, nor can you take up a second job to earn a little extra or ask the bank for a loan. Time is spent within perpetual, irreversible transactions and yet people are far more flippant with their time than their money. Whilst they know it would be foolish and potentially dangerous to invest their money into stocks, items, food and even clothing which won’t bring about a profitable return in some way, they mindlessly invest their time into all kinds of wasteful activities which offer little or no personal return.
You have 168 hours a week at your disposal, with an average of 2,400 minutes to yourself within that period. Yet the time you invest in social media, Netflix, bad relationships, unfulfilling jobs, unhealthy dietary and lifestyle choices never gives you as much value as you put in. We’re so willing to throw our time away into activities and lifestyle choices which may not be the best for us in the long-term because we naturally consider our time as something to ‘spend’ rather than ‘invest’.
Successful people realise there is no such thing as ‘free time’. All of our time comes at a price and all of our time can be invested wisely. This isn’t to say you should have no leisures in life or do things you enjoy, but you should always consider what the outcomes are for yourself before you invest your time into something.
You can watch Netflix in the evening, but you can make your investment worthwhile by not watching as much or by tailoring what you watch to match your personal, professional or educational ambitions (such as by watching a documentary about something you want to learn about or watching a film which may inspire your writing etc).
Invest Time as you would Money
You wouldn’t put all your money into one stock or gamble all your life savings on red because not only are you risking wasting your money, you miss out on all other possible opportunities for your money.
The same philosophy applies to time: don’t put all your energy and time into supporting your partner’s dreams and ambitions by neglecting your own entirely and don’t give all your time and effort into your career and neglect your diet and exercise.
Diversify where you invest your time by first eliminating all distractions and then identify what you want to invest your time into, personally and professionally. Once you’ve identified ways in which you should invest your time, categorise them into urgent and important tasks and manage your time so that urgent matters are prioritised.
There are four aspects of your life that time manifests itself in: discussion, action, thought and distraction. You need to protect your time from the unhelpful and wasteful variants of these aspects which means not engaging in that senseless fight on twitter with a bunch of strangers or reading trashy news articles online about celebrity gossip. You need to stop spending time with ‘friends’ who don’t inspire you or raise you up and stop engaging in an inactive lifestyle despite wanting to become fitter.
There are many things you can do with your life which is why it’s so difficult for most people to focus in and narrow their lives down to just one thing. Whilst life is short, it’s not as short as you think it is. You may want to become a professional singer as well as a successful entrepreneur, but to gain ultimate success in either of these two fields requires extreme dedication and focus which is why you need to only work on one for now. This may be hard to bring yourself to do, but remind yourself that you can come back and work on the other goal in five or even ten years time.
You have the time to do everything you want to in life provided you invest your time wisely.