The Best Use of Your Time
Time is our most valuable asset. We can't earn more of it, unlike money. We can't hold on to it and pass it to our heirs, like real property. And the amount we will have in the future is unknowable. All we can do is to maximize the value of our time today.
The easiest way to do that is to stop doing things that someone else can do for us, and focus on what we alone can do for ourselves and for our loved ones.
I stopped mowing my lawn this year and hired a neighbor's lawn the service company. I wish I'd done it sooner. Yard work in Florida is fun only during the four months of cool weather. Even then, it took me a couple of hours to do what four guys now do in 20 minutes. By comparison with what I pay the service, I worked in the heat for maybe half of minimum wage -- and that's not even taking into account the cost of equipment and its maintenance.
I could have spent those two hours a week with kids and grandkids, speaking Spanish with friends who are native speakers, tutoring English, writing for pleasure or work, practicing golf.
All of us do things out of habit, not because they have to be done by us. Often -- as with my landscape maintenance -- they can be done better and at lower cost by someone else.
In the next installment, we'll talk about how to inventory your tasks, analyze your time and prioritize each of them.