What does the expression “Time is Money” really mean? I think it means that time can and should be invested just like money. Similar to financial investments, time investments grow over time and can be withdrawn later. If you invest time in your career, school, relationships, health, etc those areas of your life will grow and reward you later. The problem is many of us spend our time on the things that don’t matter, the things that don’t reward us later. Developing some basic time management skills might allow you to spend less and invest more.
The first step is to identify what and who is worth investing in. Try asking yourself these three questions:
1. What do you do for fun or enjoyment?
2. Who do you turn to for help and support?
3. What is the best and most meaningful part of your work?
The answers to these questions are where you should be investing your time. In the 7 habits of Highly Effective People, Covey suggests that 80% of our time and energy should be focused on these things or with these people. The other 20% should be spent completing the important and urgent tasks that are part of your daily life. These might include finishing a report, studying for a test, sending emails, etc. Get these out of the way first then you can focus your energy on what really matters. Here are some practical time management tips that might help you complete the 20%.
- Prioritize your to – do list (urgent + important go first, non-urgent + important second)
- Use a calendar or planner
- Touch each paper or email only once
- Find your creative time – defend it
- Find your dead time – schedule it
These practical tips will hopefully increase your productivity, reduce your stress, and create a healthy balance in your life.