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Treat Your Time as an Investment

Posted by convergingcurrents on October 27, 2016

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Treat Your Time as an Investment

In recent posts, we talked about prioritizing to make sure that you have time for what matters. Wouldn't life be easy if it were a simple task? But it's not. So here are how some experts have treated prioritizing.

 

You're heard the expression that "time is money," right? One expert suggests that you treat it that way.

 

Elizabeth Grace Saunders is a time coach and the author of How to Invest Your Time Like Money. Her best idea, I think, is to "excel in what really counts, and to aim for less than perfect in everything else."

 

 Here's how, Ms. Saunders says: "When you approach a to-do item, you want to consider whether it is an  Investment, Neutral, or Optimize activity. Investment activities are areas where a higher quality of work can lead to an exponential payoff. For instance, strategic planning is an investment activity; so is spending time, device-free, with the people you love. Aim for A-level work in these areas. Neutral activities just need to get done adequately; an example might be attending project meetings or going to the gym. [They] need to get done, but aim for B-level work. Optimize activities are those for which additional time leads to no added value. Most basic administrative paperwork and errands fit into this category. Aim for C-level work in these — the faster you get them done, the better.

 

At the beginning of each week, put an I, N or O. If you keep a time diary or mark the time you spent on your calendar, you can also look back over each week and determine if you allocated your time correctly to maximize the payoff on your time investment."

 

Folksinger Judy Collins sang a song (written by Sandy Denny of Fairport Convention, for you music buffs) called "Who Knows Where the Time Goes?" In our next installment, we'll talk about a time diary (or journal or plain diary) as a means of answering that all-important question.