Your Scarcest Resource

I know plenty of financial advisors who would love to spend a few hours reviewing my investments, cash position, investment goals and helping me make a realistic plan.

I know how much I spent on food, travel, housing, school in the last month, year and if I did the sums I could calculate a rough lifetime spend.

Money.

You can always earn more money.

Organisations spend small fortunes developing capital expenditure budgets and operational budgets and auditing the cash of the business.

My time, in contrast, goes un-managed. Most organisations have no systematic procedure to eliminate time wasters. They place clear objectives for the use of every dollar, but no barriers on the expenditure of another hour.

My first girlfriend used to tell me that time is like money but with one major difference – at the end of every day, everything you have left unspent is taken away from you. Imagine if you started every day with €240 and you knew that at midnight, any left unspent will be taken away.

Imagine Managing Time Like Companies Budget Capital

Imagine if every month, instead of receiving a bank statement, I received a time-statement: a detailed breakdown of where my hours have been put, how many were invested and how many just dripped through the cracks.

Would it change how I spend my time? Would it reduce facebook and increase playing with my daughter? Would it reduce email and increase face-to-face meetings? How would the measurement change me?

4 comments

  1. That’s a frightening and inspiring thought. Too much of my life is dripping through the cracks. The biggest difference to me would be to have a better data, paper, organisational management system. Sometimes I can spend 20 mins trying to locate a file or email or or or. It’s OK to have creative chaos in your head, but not also everywhere around you. My plan for Dec and Jan is now set.
    thanks for the thoughts.

    1. I have a new post in the making on this idea… how to make clear, real, tangible and visible the “errors of omission” in our lives 😉

  2. Eduardo Navas · · Reply

    Great article,
    I love the idea of using time balance sheet.
    In deed, I am now tracking my value adding hours everyday and that tracking is a great tool in order to motivate yourself and improve performance.

    1. In my first professional job, at Accenture (Andersen Consulting back then) I had to complete a time report every 15 days – it was brutal at first – trying to remember what I had done with 2 weeks.

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