We often get hung up on financial concepts when it comes to investment. But have you thought about how you invest your time?
Investing is often considered in monetary terms. However, we have other resources to invest. On of those resources is time. Before you get too hung up on money, think about the way you invest your time. You might be able to put it to better use.
Why Time is More Important than Money
It's true that we all need money to live. Some of us make do with less money than others, and some of us have help?from others as we plan out how to afford our lifestyles. We get hung up on money, but we sometimes forget that time can be more important than money.
First of all, it's your time you often exchange for money. When you work, you are giving up some of your time to receive payment. While few of us like to think this way, your hourly wage can be an indication of what your time is “worth.”
Many experts take this thesis and apply it to the things you buy. If you earn $10 an hour, and the TV you want to buy costs $1,000, you will need to work 100 hours to pay for that TV. Someone who earns $50 an hour, by contrast, will only need to work 20 hours to afford the same TV.
However, it's not just the connection between time and hourly earnings that you need to think about. A very real consideration is this: Time is more important than money because once it's gone, you can't get it back. You can always make more money after you spend what you have. You can work overtime, get a second job, start a side gig, learn the skills and gain the experience to get a raise, or work out a way to earn passive income.
Once time is gone, you can't get more. Time — and how you use it — is more important than your current income.
Invest Your Time for Maximum Benefit
Of course, when you invest your time right, you are likely to reap financial benefits as well as see non-monetary gains. The way you invest your time can make a big difference today, and in the future. Here are 6 ways you can make the most of your time:
- Learn new things: One of the best ways to invest your time is to learn new things. Spend time learning new skills and acquiring knowledge. You might be surprised at the doors it opens. Not only can you improve your work/income situation, but you can also expand your horizons and understand more about the world around you. Self-improvement has its own benefits?and learning new things is a good start. From learning a new skill to picking up a hobby, new things can help keep your mind flexible and provide enjoyable experiences.
- Get inspired: I don't always go in for motivational speeches and reading. But sometimes it helps to receive a little inspiration. Watch a few TED talks, read the biographies of people that you admire. A few minutes of inspiration each day can help keep you going, and create a feeling of optimism that can influence other areas of your life.
- Develop meaningful relationships: If you want to invest your time in ways that repay you in ways you might never imagine, make sure to develop meaningful relationships. Invest in relationships with your life partner, children, friends and business associates. These relationships can require time and effort, but they can repay you in dividends that might surprise you. Plus, they add color and depth to your life. If you are so focused on money that you neglect the relationships that add meaning, you might miss out on what makes life rich.
- Help others: Giving your time to help others can be a surprisingly profitable endeavor — even if it's not profitable in terms of money. There are benefits to volunteering your time and talents, and you might be surprised at what they can add to your life. Make the time to help others, and enrichment is likely to follow. Plus, if you are involved in a cause you believe in, you can feel good about making the world a better place.
- Take care of your health: Don't forget to invest your time in taking care of your health. Even if you have a lot of money, what is the good if you are too ill to enjoy it? Take the time to engage in physical activity and make it a point to try to eat right. Good health is a time investment that pays off for years. You don't need to spend hours each day?to reap positive, long-term results.
- Enjoy meditation and relaxation: Spend some time quietly, without distractions. Turn off the cell phone, put down the laptop. Invest your time like this a little each day, and you can clear your mind and improve your mental and emotional health. This doesn't mean that you need to spend 30 minutes in what we consider “traditional” meditation. Sometimes my meditation is the time I spend in the pool, swimming and thinking of nothing but the count of my stroke and the way I breathe. Sometimes my meditation is done while I play the piano or guitar. Find ways to relax and clear your mind, without everything around you. You'll cope better with stress, feel better in general, and interact better with those around you.
No, you don't have to cut TV from your life or be productive all the time. I like to spend an hour or two some evenings just being entertained by a TV show our movie. However, there's no reason to spend three or four hours in front of the TV each day. It's one thing to spend half an hour or so cruising Facebook or reading Buzzfeed. It's another to lose hours to these activities. Carefully think about how you want to invest your time, and how your life can be improved if you work for life dividends that matter to you.