The key is in not spending time, but in investing it.

Invest Your Time So You Have More to Spend

What would happen if you started managing your time the same way you manage your money? That could be a bad thing depending on how you manage your money, but for the sake of this post I’ll assume you manage your money well. Even if you don’t, you can apply the similar principles to both money and time management.

Budgeting Your Time

Do you feel busy right now? Too busy to finish X project or Y task? Most people feel this way. Everyone has the same amount of hours in a day. So how do you “make time” to do the things you really want to do? You need to budget your time, just like budgeting money.

Start by taking the time you have in a week and budget it in blocks of hours. Everyone has 168 hours in a week. If you like working with Excel spreadsheets, you can use Michael Hyatt’s Ideal Week spreadsheet as a starting point. He actually breaks it up into half hour sections. Fill in each half hour with what you want to do or have to do. You may find that your current responsibilities don’t allow you enough time to complete certain things and that’s OK, those responsibilities may change in the future. Many people will find that they have more time than they thought.

Whether you have a little or a lot of free time, if you want more free time in the future you need to focus on investing your time rather than spending it.

Are You Investing or Spending Your Time?

How do you know if you’re investing or spending your time? If you’re doing something that doesn’t buy you more time in the future, then your spending it. If you’re doing something that will give you more freedom time-wise, then it’s an investment. Using that basic guideline, categorize the things you do based on whether it is time spent or time invested. You can use color coding in your spreadsheet to help visualize how much time you invest.

Investing time will often also be investing in something that has a financial reward because the thing that often takes the most time is earning money and earning more can give more freedom in the future.

“The key is in not spending time, but in investing it.”
– Stephen R. Covey

How to Invest Your Time

I can think of two primary ways to invest time: learning and working on projects that create passive income. Learning is an investment because it can save you time in the future by helping you become faster at what you do. It can also increase your income by giving you new skills. Increasing your passive income is an investment because it allows you to earn money without doing more work. Some ideas for passive income projects are albums, books, blogs, and courses. Anything you can create once and sell multiple times is a good time investment. Take those general ideas and see how you can work them into your time budget.

How do you invest your time?

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