It’s a simple truth I learned early on as an entrepreneur: You can always make more money but you can never make more time.
Each minute you have needs to be used, to be valued, to be invested. It’s all in the mindset. If you are writing an email with advice, could that email be turned into a blog post? If you’re setting up an alert for a subject you’re researching? Does that party you’re attending contain anyone on the guest list you may want to start a business with in a year?
I’m not saying don’t ever watch TV or hang out with friends, because those also have value. Like eating a balanced meal, our energy and emotions also need to be balanced. Everything in moderation.
But your time decisions influence everything about your output. Instead of watching 3 hours of TV, cut it back to a half hour. Keep your media consumption focused on things with value. Think about why you’re using your time watching that show in order to relax, to laugh or exercise your brain. If you’re watching a show because it creates drama (Jerry Springer style) do you really need it? Garbage in garbage out.
It’s impotant to know why you’re doing something, and make it an investment in yourself. Here are the critical ways you can nourish yourself:
- Sleep. Don’t be that useless hero who tries to go days without sleep. Sleep gives us energy. Take what your body needs, don’t cheat.
- Food. Stay away from the junk. Take the time to eat slowly and not in a rush. Your body will thank you.
- Friends. Invite the friends and association into your life that will nourish your soul.
- Family. Every family, including the Cleavers, have hard times. But (in most cases) your family will be that ultimate grounding. Devote time to nourishing these roots (there is a reason they’re called roots!).
- Mental Stimulation. Contact and conversation with friends, coworkers, etc. or a trip to the museum.
- Relaxation. Spa, climbing, yoga, hot shower, a half hour of your favorite show, journalling, Sunday brunch … pick a vice, and keep it in check. But feel free to indulge when it makes sense!
- Exercise. Healthy body, healthy mind. Even 1 walk per day will help get your energy flowing. Don’t be sedentary. Make the time.
These actions feed into our emotional and physical health. But as for the rest of your seconds, minutes, hours—all of it should count. Create, learn, grow. Don’t waste the little time you have.
There are a million ways to be productive with your time. Taking a road trip, listening to an educational program, talking to a business partner, enjoying a much needed chat with a friend… it doesn’t have to be strictly work. But your time is best spent figuring out your checks and balances. Make every second of your time a personal investment.
How do you work to not waste time? What are your favorite activities to help enhance your own self?