In martial arts, we’re trained to finish the fight as quickly and efficiently as possible. The less time we give our opponent to feel us out, the easier it will be to defeat them. Time is a valuable thing. I’d say it’s more valuable than money because it’s more limited.
As I sit here typing this post, minutes are being drained from my life that I’ll never get back. Wow, that’s a motivator to get these posts knocked out quicker! But seriously, what we trade for out time will determine how successful we are in life. The empowering thing to think of when it comes to time is you get to choose what you spend it on!
If you can learn to spend your time wisely early on in life, you will reap the rewards later down the road by having accomplished more. The hard part is deciding if what you’re spending your time on is in fact, a wise decision. The answer is different for all of us since we have different things going on in our lives and different dreams we would like to see come to reality.
It’s tough looking back on my life and seeing ways that I’ve wasted my time over the years. Every second I spend dwelling on the past could be used in a way to benefit my present/future though so I try not to dwell very long. Anyways, I’ve spent enough time talking about wasting time so let’s look at some ways we can manage our time to become more wealthy.
Look at your time the same way you look at a budget
I’m not saying you should actually create a time budget (although that might be beneficial) but you should look at areas of your life where you waste time on a regular basis and see if you can cut that activity out. Replacing just one unproductive activity with a productive one can impact your life in a huge way. Since starting this blog, I’ve replaced most of the time I spend on Facebook with reading educational content. I have learned a ton of new things during this time and implemented several of them into my life that are going to save and earn me thousands of dollars in the long run. Knowing what you have time for and what you don’t allows you to make time for friends and family. It takes away the guilt of not being with them or feeling like you need to be doing something else when you’re with them.
Spend more time thinking about your finances
If you don’t spend much time thinking about your money situation, you’ll spend more and save less. On the other hand, spending more time thinking about your money will cause the opposite effect. The more you think about something, the more ideas you will get. I’m not saying you should obsess over money but it is a big part of life so it should have a decent amount of time spent on it.
Take advantage of time in the stock market
Compound interest is a beautiful thing. The more time your money is in the stock market, the more interest it will gain. Start investing as soon as you can and you’ll maximize the wonderful effect compound interest has on your portfolio.
Devote time to learning
Even if you have a Ph.D. you can still learn something new every day. Our brains can hold what seems to be an infinite amount of information. The more knowledge you gain, the more skill you will have and the more value you can provide to society. The reason college graduates are more likely to be hired is that they’ve shown the devotion to learning. Not to say you can’t be just as successful without a degree but you won’t have a piece of paper saying you “studied” for a few extra years. Making time to read every day is a great way to boost your knowledge.
Reduce time wasters.
Time wasters come in a multitude of forms. Use the time budget idea to identify as many things in your life that you can think of that waste your time and work to eliminate them. Simplifying your life will help you to focus more on the things that matter. Eliminating time wasters could be as simple as getting rid of clutter in your house. Every time you think of an item in your house that you aren’t using shaves seconds off your day that add up over time. It can also be as complex as removing a non-beneficial relationship in your life. If you’ve got friends that just want to entertain their lives away, you might need to break away from them to start pursuing some of your goals. Entertainment has its place but shouldn’t take up more time than your productive endeavors.
If you’ve got a long commute to work or find yourself waiting for different things a lot, start utilizing this idle time to learn. Listening to podcasts and audiobooks is a great way to pass time and you can gain a lot of useful knowledge. Not only can you learn valuable information that you can use in your life, you will have more to talk about with people and they’ll find you more interesting.
Start planning things out
Instead of running into town at the first thought of something you need to do, think of anything else you need to do while your out. The few extra minutes of planning your trips could save hours of mindlessly wandering around stores. You’ll get more done and waste less time if you stick to a plan when you’re running errands.
Think of ways to increase your income over time.
There are countless ways to make more money with your time. If you’re an employee, spend more time learning what you can do to become more valuable to your company. If you can show your boss that you’ve become more valuable, you should be able to ask for more money when it comes time to get a raise. Outside of work, spend more time thinking of ways to bring in more income. There are so many ways to start a side hustle now and everyone should have at least one.
While procrastination isn’t always a negative thing, waiting to start something you’ve been wanting to do could cost you in the long run. I could have waited longer to start this blog but may have gotten distracted with something else if I didn’t start when I did. Now that I’ve started, I have the motivation to continue. Starting something is usually the hardest part when it comes to things we’ve never done before. When it comes to your career, procrastinating on job hunting could cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years. The task of going to interviews and writing resumes sounds dreadful so most people stay content at the same job for years. You quite possibly could get a job offer that is better in every aspect if you look around so this isn’t something to procrastinate over.
You’re probably thinking this statement goes against the whole message of this post. Patience can be an awesome attribute when used correctly. Taking time to think over large purchases and doing research can save you a ton of money. There’s a sweet spot between patience and procrastination where you take the needed time to think things through but then take action when you’re confident you’ve got it sorted out.
When it comes down to it, I think time can be used in more ways than anything else in life. It’s certainly one of the most precious things as well. I hope when my time is up I’ll be able to say I spent most of it wisely. What are you doing with your time? The clock is ticking…
Nathan has been a personal finance writer since early 2018. He and his wife reached a net worth of one hundred thousand at the age of 25 and are on their way to financial independence. His favorite way to make money is selling things on eBay and has grown his eBay business to earn five figures selling part-time. He loves sharing what he learns about finance and any eBay tips he comes across. If you’re interested in becoming an eBay seller, check out his reseller Facebook group.