There is an entire self-help industry, and many fortunes made based off time management and best practices on how to use your time wisely. This is because the idea of budgeting our time better is something most every individual would like to do but does not do well enough. In other words, we can mostly agree that time is the most precious thing we have, but we do not always use this scarce resource wisely. I think the English writer William Penn sums the concept nicely when he writes “Time is what we want most, but what we use worst”. Good news! In this blog post, I will try my best not to waste more than a few minutes of your time, with a few points that will help to assess the value of yours.
What is my specified purpose?
The basis of any achievable strategy has to start with an understanding of our purpose. One first must be able to answer the question of “where I am going?” There can be many answers to this, including but certainly not limited to an accomplished career, creation of a successful business, raising a family, serving our community, and how to best spend our time in retirement. There is no “right” answer, but for each of us individually there must be an answer. So often the way in which we set our time allocation strategy looks very different from our specified purpose. If something is not moving you toward the pursuit of your purpose, is it worth your time?
Are you confusing being busy with accomplishing your purpose?
One of the great traits of our country, is that we are a really hard-working group of people. Unfortunately, this has also created a subculture of the “do-it yourself” mentality; that nothing is worth paying for if it can be done yourself. I would suggest flipping this idea on its head. Using myself as an example, if I defined my purpose as pursuing a successful financial management career, being a great husband and father and serving my community, that is a tall order! Every time there is a “busy” task to get done (e.g., housework) that is one hour I am not investing in career, family, or community. When you find yourself engaged in busywork, a great question to ask ourselves is what is the value of buying back our time? Even if I can do this task myself, what if I had an extra minute, hour, or day to spend towards my purpose? Much like compound interest in investing your money, prioritizing time spent on your purpose will pay much larger dividends 5, 10 & 20 years from now.
Giving you your time back
So where to start? Our suggestion is to start simple:
- Define what and why of your specified purpose, and most importantly, write it down!
- Take an “inventory” of your time and find the low-hanging fruit of things in your life that are not moving you toward that purpose.
- Take time and remind yourself the what and why on a consistent basis. As we’ve most all experienced with a personal resolution, time makes it easy to drift and forget our goals.
- Do not be afraid to reach out! If outsourcing more of your life would be beneficial, let’s talk about what is possible and how we can help.
Like many of you, we are often asked by others, “so what do you do?” Similarly, if a family or non-profit Board is considering partnering with our firm, the question comes in the form of “what is the value you provide”? While there are many ways to ask this question, we at Becker are happy to answer. Our goal is to passionately serve our clients in order to give them their time back, enabling them to pursue their purpose and passion. One of the great joys of working at Becker Capital is being able to observe clients do exactly this. Whether it is creating a business, serving their community, or time spent with family, we are energetically pursuing our purpose in serving you, so you can pursue yours.