Like money, you only have a limited amount of time to invest in any given day. When it comes to your finances, you’ll often plan out what you invest in and make choices based on expected returns. Try the same approach to your time.
Unlike money, your time gets used whether you want to or not. You can’t put time in the bank and wait until later to use it, nor can you blow a month’s worth of time in a single weekend. However, as author J.D. Meier points out, you still get a return on your time investment. Sometimes it’s worth it, other times you lose what you put in. Treat your time like you want to accomplish something with it to get a better return:
When you think of your results as a portfolio, it helps you manage risk. You might be over-investing in some areas, while ignoring or under investing in others. For example, are you investing in your relationships? Are you investing in fun? Your portfolio will have its ups and downs, and Hot Spots allow you to identify areas that need the most attention. They can help you find key indicators for your personal performance. The portfolio metaphor helps you carve out time for what’s important.
That’s not to say that every gain needs to be selfish (or financial, for the overly literal). But building your relationships counts as a return. Taking a vacation and boosting your energy counts as a return. If you’re spending your time on something that’s not helping you or those in your life flourish, cut your losses and invest in something new.
Photo by Arjan Richter.