You know what breaks my heart? People not living up to their potential, and in turn, being unhappy.
As I mentor friends, work with e3 clients and just browse social media – I see one common theme: most people aren’t reaching their goals for 2 reasons:
Not enough time, and/ or not enough money.
That’s because they have been conditioned to believe they have specific predisposed capacity, and that subconsciously we have to choose free time or a surplus of money. Most people that have money are always “too busy” to spend time with friends or family. Most people that are consistently social are often times complaining about being broke.
Unfortunately, at least in America, we are seeing people dramatically lean to one side or the other. We are seeing the largest income gap since the 1920’s, and worse, the largest percentage of people struggling with mental disorders like depression and anxiety.
So what I want to talk about today is: By learning to manage these things better, we can learn to make more money, take back our time, and live happier, healthier lives.
What I’m about to say is not to boast, but to give perspective. I personally run 2 businesses, one full time and one part time. I am in college part time, I work out 6 days a week. I have 3-4 social evenings per week. I practice hobbies such as boxing, painting, shooting guns, and even traveling regularly. I read and write every day, and I also take care of my pup. I do all that and get an average of 7 hours of sleep per night, and I know – that there is still more in me…
A preponderance of evidence shows that the feeling of having enough time — “time affluence” — is now at a record low in the United States. When a survey was done of 2.5 million Americans by the Gallup Organization, they found that 80% of respondents did not have the time to do all they wanted to each day. This situation is so severe it could even be described as a “famine” — a collective cultural failure to effectively manage our most precious resource, time.
Time poverty exists across all economic strata, and its effects are profound. Research shows that those who feel time-poor experience lower levels of happiness and higher levels of anxiety, depression, and stress. They experience less joy. They laugh less. They exercise less and are less healthy. Their productivity at work is diminished. They are more likely to get divorced. And in an analysis of the Gallup survey data, researchers found that time stress had a stronger negative effect on happiness than being unemployed did.
On a broader level, time poverty directly accounts for billions of dollars in productivity costs to companies each year, and secondary costs multiply that number many times over. Public health officials rank it as one of the top contributors to rising obesity. Researchers put the health care costs of time stress at $48 billion a year.
1. LOOK AT TIME LIKE WE LOOK AT MONEY
Studies showed that people who prioritize their time are more likely to pursue and work in careers they loved
Example: every time you go to spend $5 on a coffee, or $100 on shoes, you ask “is it worth it”, and you justify the money spent or you decide not to spend it.
What do I do?
Create a time budget.
Draw out 168 hours…
2. PLAN TO BE SPONTANEOUS:
Because of TIME SLACK – Slack is the perceived surplus of a given resource available to complete a focal task. Our research shows that, in general, people expect slack for time to be greater in the future than in the present. This expectation of growth of slack in the future is more pronounced for time than for money.
What do I do?
Plan your future time. When it comes to leisure time, the data suggests that people have a natural bias toward spontaneity: We don’t want to feel our free time is too scheduled. So we do things like leaving weekends up to chance — and then end up wasting much of them. But we’re actually happier if we make plans and don’t passively fritter away time.
Communicate with your friends, family and/or spouse more about your flex time. See when they are free so you can all enjoy each other together more.
3. PLAN YOUR MEALS:
When Romain Cadario, a professor at IÉSEG School of Management in Paris, recently surveyed 12,000 French and American adults about their dining habits, he found that on average, the French spent significantly more time eating. In turn, they had a much more positive association with food. Americans spent more time choosing their meals than actually enjoying them.
What do I do?
Plan your meals like you plan your outfits.
Prep and cook in advance, use a meal prep company, or simply think about your lunch tomorrow in advance so when lunch time comes around – you know where you are going.
4. IDENTIFY WHAT IS WORTH REALLY SAVING MONEY OR TIME ON
Sometimes our “bargains” are actually costing us more time AND money.
- a 10 hour flight vs a 6 hour flight and saving $50
- driving further for cheaper gas
- going from store to store for a bargain on the same shirt to save $10
What do I do?
Always weigh the pros and cons of purchasing decisions.
Learn to create more inner dialogue. You will want to do this quickly (for purchases like gas) and know when to spend time on it (like airplane tickets).