This is going to be short and sweet. Ok, maybe just short, but hopefully you think it’s a pretty “sweet” idea.
I hear a lot of questions about investing.
“Jared, what do you recommend I do with my money?”
“Jared, do you see any great investment ideas right now?”
“Jared, what are the top investments you are currently in?”
The common thing about all of the questions I get is that they are focused on just one thing – what to do with your money and how to turn your money into MORE money.
I get it, finance is heavily flooded with conversations revolving around investing. For better or worse, it dominates most conversations about personal finance.
But I don’t believe the issue most people are having is finding the right investments for themselves, I think it’s that they are focusing too much of their attention on the wrong area to begin with.
THE RIGHT AREA TO FOCUS ON
I was recently listening to a book (Yes, I love audiobooks! They are a great way to multi-task, especially if you drive a lot!) by the man himself, Grant Cardone.
Grant Cardone is a New York Times bestselling author and internationally renowned speaker on leadership, real estate investing, entrepreneurship, and finance.
And he’s a real character.
In his book, “Be Obsessed Or Be Average” he hits on a point that I’ve often thought about, which is the fact that time is MUCH more important than money.
A lot of people are obsessed with investing money and becoming rich. They are scouring the news networks, websites, blogs, forums, and anywhere else they can get to learn about the next Uber or Bitcoin to invest in. This could certainly turn out to be a fruitful endeavor, but is it the best thing to be focusing on?
You may have heard the saying:
“Time is a non-renewable resource. It’s the one thing we can never get back.”
There is nothing more precious than time.
We take it for granted in our younger years, and would give anything to get more of it in our latter years.
So, if this is the case, why aren’t we more obsessed with optimizing our time?
I would argue that the best investment we could make is finding ways to make the most of our time.
So, here are a handful of ways that you can make the most of your time, and your life:
HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR TIME
1 – Know what you value
In order to know if you are using your time well, you have to know what is actually important to you. The best way to do this is to really think about what it is that you value, and make sure you are aligning your activities around those things.
The more you align your daily lifestyle around what is truly most important to you, the happier you will be.
2 – Regularly assess how you spend your time
Whether you do this on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis, you want to actually analyze how you are using your time.
Look back through your calendar and evaluate all of the things you did. See how often the things you were doing aligned with what is important to you. Ask yourself, “Did these things bring me more happiness, or where they more of a nuisance and something I was forced to do?”
As the saying goes, “What gets measured gets managed, and what gets managed gets done!”
If you aren’t actually measuring the usefulness of your time, then you are only guessing at how well you are using it.
So, make sure you take some time out of your busy schedule to do some self-reflection.
3 – Schedule More Things That Make You Happy
On that note, be proactive with what you are scheduling into your calendar. Block out times in your schedule to do more of the things that you enjoy.
Also, make sure you are scheduling those times for reflection so you don’t get caught up in all of the awesomeness and forget to do it! 😉
4 – Eliminate distractions and don’t let others control your time
A great piece of advice I received years ago was about eliminating distractions so I could focus.
I remember reading about it in “The 4-Hour Workweek” by Tim Ferriss. He spoke about turning off all of the notifications on your phone and other devices, so when you are trying to be productive, you aren’t constantly being pinged by your email, texts, and a number of other distractions.
What this does is allow you to stick to your schedule and get things done when you want to. It helps put up barriers between you and the outside world that is full of distractions.
5 – Do Things On Off-Hours
Personally, I try to never run errands when I know the rest of the world is doing them.
For example, I almost never go to the grocery store right after work lets out, or do any other errands during rush-hour traffic. Sitting in traffic is a complete waste of time.
Another example is going to the gym.
When I used to go to a normal gym [I’ve recently been sucked into the world of CrossFit… 😉 ] I remember often having to wait to use certain pieces of equipment if I had to go during peak hours. After a while, I got fed up with this, so I started going during times of the day when there was barely anyone there. I’d go at 10AM on a Tuesday morning, or 2PM on a Wednesday afternoon.
Your workout goes a heck of a lot faster (or you can get more done in the same period of time) when there are no lines to use any of the machines.
6 – Outsource Tasks
If you have the financial resources to do so, outsourcing menial tasks that you don’t enjoy is a great way to get back a lot of time.
Cleaning, cooking, meal-prep, running errands, yard-work, and on and on…
If any of these things make you wince at the thought of having to do them, then it might be a great place to start outsourcing to others.
TIME IS YOUR MOST PRECIOUS RESOURCE
It’s with good reason that so many great thinkers have commented on the importance of time. It truly is our most precious resource. It’s just a shame that so many realize this after having wasted so much of it.
Many will spend much of their lives chasing great fortune, only to realize that the thing they traded for it (time) is what truly matters.
Make no mistake, we trade our time for money. What you do with that money reflects your values and what is important to you.
When you’re staring into the mirror, thinking about all that you’ve done, will you be happy with how you “invested” your time?