“Be a time investor.”
If you ever took a career and personal planning class in high school, your teacher might have shown you some magical compound interest formula that turned $25 into a million dollars. Then he or she probably told you, “The later you start saving and the less frequently you tuck money away, the longer it will take for you to reach that million dollar goal… so you better Start Investing now”. The same principles work for investing your time. If you learn how to manage your time properly, you can invest your minutes into reaching your life goals faster than you would ever have imagined, without sacrificing the pleasures of a social life and the occasional lazy Sunday.
You might be thinking that your schedule is jam-packed as is and that there’s no way you could possibly cram anything else into it – but remember your recent Netflix marathon? And what about all that time you spent sneaking in a Facebook or Instagram update? Have you tallied up how much time you spent snapchatting in a week? You can make time for things that are important to you and you have no idea how productive you can be until life forces you into it. Every decade you live through proves this point. Think about the average day of a baby and the average day of an adult. The activities, chores, responsibilities and expectations change drastically from the time you’re an infant, then a toddler, then a child, then a teenager – all the way up until you become a hopefully self-sufficient adult, at which point you might even have your own children to take care of too.
We all have the same 24 hours in our day – don’t let time be the reason your dreams get taken away from you. Working out once a week might help you reach your fitness goals, but you’ll get there a lot slower than if you worked out 3-5x a week. If you don’t write out that business plan now, somebody else with better time Management skills might start it up before you do. If you don’t apply for that job now, someone else will swoop in, crush the interview and get hired on the spot.
You have the capacity to do so much more with your time so start investing your hours wisely. Write out your goals. Then create a list of Routine activities that will help you meet those goals; this can include things like going to the gym, listening to a podcast, reading a new finance book, making sales calls etc. On your calendar, block out time for those routine goal-meeting activities. Set aside some downtime for you to veg or do whatever you want, and also set aside time for your personal relationships. Make a conscious effort to fit all of this in along with your every day essential daily tasks and you’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish.
If you suck at time management, Anna Vital of Founders and Funders created the below infographic of 35 habits you can develop to be more productive.