October 24, 2011
Return on investment: ROI. It’s a term you hear all the time, typically in a business setting or when talking about finances. Your goal is always maximize the return on money you invest.
When you mix your time with your ROI, then the game changes and the stakes are higher, much higher. Time should be thought of as your most valuable asset. Money is great, but your time is more valuable! Anything you do is an investment of time. You only get 24 hours in a day. There is no way to find more time. You can always find ways to earn more income.
If you enjoy going to sporting events, that’s an investment. I like to watch the N.C. State Wolfpack and the Carolina Hurricanes. We invest money on tickets and when they play badly, I feel like I made a bad investment. It’s also like I got a poor return on my time. Now, normally I take friends and family so it’s not really a poor return because it’s good, quality time we spend together.
If you break it down, there are many instances when your time is more valuable than money. Again, you can always make more cash, but time is something you just can’t recover. Once a day is over, it’s gone forever. When you treat your time as a commodity, and your actions as investments, it changes the way you approach your day.
How do we spend our time? We work, eat, sleep, exercise, socialize, etc. Each thing we do must be important or we wouldn’t do them right? Of course! When we get out of balance and spend too much time in one area and not enough in others, we create or run into problems. Keeping the proper balance can make or break people that are trying to become successful in business, so it’s key to find your correct balance. When we find that, we enjoy a productive and happy life.
How do we decide what we should be doing?
1. Multiple Benefits
Does the activity produce more benefits for me than others? Will I get a positive return in more than one category by doing this? If the answer is yes, you are getting a high ROI because you’ve multiplied your return and likely cut potential losses.
When I wake up to work out during the week, I normally have at least one person work out with me. I also keep my phone handy or read something that I can knock out during my workout. I’ve hit two areas by doing this. I’m getting exercise and I’m getting work-related items knocked out too. I’m setting up my day and how it will play out almost as soon as it starts.
Finding areas that intersect will help you accomplish more on a daily basis.
- 2. Avoiding Multiple Setbacks
A negative can do so much harm that it can offset multiple positives or prevent future positives from even happening. Avoiding or minimizing these setbacks is as important as creating a positive. Engaging in activities that do not yield any benefit is dangerous. You’ve probably all seen a person that loves to go out drinking and carousing several nights a week. This person is spending time to do this, spending money on drinks and probably staying out – and up – way too late. They might not even have a good night after all of that. Now, they’ve got to wake up with a hangover and probably won’t have a productive day at the office – if they even show up for work.
I’m all for people having a good time. Socializing is important and people should have fun. But, that should not happen at the risk of several negative results. Often people get caught in a rut of repeating poor behavior and eventually it catches up to even the best of them. The more a person gets stuck in this pattern, the harder it is to break the cycle. To avoid this scenario, it’s a great idea to evaluate what you are doing on a regular basis. I’ve talked about to draw things out in an earlier blog called, “The Audacity of Whitesheeting” that I suggest that you read after you finish this blog. You might ask yourself the following questions:
Is what I’m doing a good investment?
Is it time to make a change?
Am I hanging around the right people?
What can I do better with my time?
- 3. Using the power of Compounding
We’ve all heard about compounding interest. When you invest your money you earn interest on it. Over time, you start earning interest on the money you earned from interest. Years and years from now, this continues to compound and leads to a big pile of money! Shickyboom!
You can apply the same logic to your time. If you work hard when you are young, you are putting yourself in a position to enjoy success that will continue to add up for the rest of your life. Wasting time as a young adult just means you’ve lost time that you will never get back. Wasting those years cuts down on your ability to utilize the power of compounding.
When I was younger I didn’t always make the most of my time. I finally started to realize I needed to take a different approach to things when I was about 35. Now, I always had a good work ethic and I loved to sell and trade things with people. Call it flawed logic or just not knowing any better, but I see so many people that never figure it out. They are more than contented to just do the silliest stuff and they are happy with their lives. I decided that I wanted more and I started chasing it. That’s when my life changed drastically.
A lot of people don’t value their own time when they aren’t working, so they waste it doing things that have a poor return and don’t help them solidify their future. Until YOU decide that your time is valuable nobody else will either. If you seek a lifestyle that allows you to live like the classes (RICH PEOPLE), then you have to start making decisions based on what will yield a high return on your investment. That goes for your time, money and emotion.
Your life is your corporation and you are the President, CEO and employee. If you wanted something done now, what action would you take? If you wanted to make the most profit possible, what decision would you make?
Squirrel away some time each day … it will add up. Balance is the key.
Start thinking in those terms and see if you notice changes in your life and outlook. I hope this helps you and I’d love to hear feedback from some of you out there that try this.
Until next time, hammer down!