Are you getting a good return on your investment? Now, before you answer that, I’m not talking about your stocks, bonds and mutual funds, or your real estate, or any of that. What I’m asking about is are you getting a good return on the investment of your time?
My daughter is a senior in high school and recently took a manager’s job at the shoe store she works with. They put her on salary, and she was so excited cause she’s making good money for a senior in high school. However, the requirement is she has to put in at least 40 hours a week. What she’s finding is that, obviously, she puts in a lot more. She is learning very quickly the handcuffs of a paid salary position for a company. She was telling me the other day she was doing the math on her last paycheck and found out that she was earning about $2.65 cents an hour, and even with commissions and all of that, it came up to about $4.50 cents an hour. She was quickly realizing, “Oh wow, this isn’t always as wonderful as I thought it would be.”
Here’s the thing to consider. Money is always in motion. If I lose a dollar today, I can always make that dollar back. However, time is different. Time is finite. Once I spend a second, or minute, or an hour, I can never recover that back. It’s never going to come back to me. I have to be wise in how I spend that time. And so, the question I have for you today is, are you getting a good return for the investment of your time?
I learned a number of years ago that time was my most valuable resource and it’s something I needed to leverage to really live the life that I wanted to live. What became important to me was creating systems, creating business systems, creating other systems in my life that allowed me to maximize my time most effectively so that I wasn’t spending eight, to 10, to 12 hours a day working for somebody else, so that I wasn’t sitting in an office all day, so that I have freedom with my time.
Even this morning, my mom had an issue that I needed to deal with for her. I’m able to do that freely because I control how my time is spent. I control who gets my time and I control how much of my time they get. Here in the last few days, I’ve had individuals who wanted to set a meeting with me, and one of the things that I do with my time is I have an online calendar that they have to schedule that meeting with. If they don’t schedule it, they don’t get my time. Then when those meeting times came around, I place the phone call. They didn’t answer. That was it. They don’t get any more of my time because they violated that agreement, and so I am not going to give them any more of my most precious resource.
That’s the thing that I want you to understand. You need to look for ways to be a good steward of this beautiful resource God has given you. The thing is, you don’t know how much of that resource you have, and so you want to make sure that you’re spending it well. You want to make sure that you’re spending it well in the same way that you produce money to pay your household bills and to live. You want to make sure that you’re using it well in exploring the things that God has put around you. I was talking to a friend the other day who runs another company and he was telling me, “I haven’t taken my family on vacation in over four years. After I put in my 12 hours at the office, I go work more on my farm. I never take downtime.” Although he thinks he’s living, my concern for him is he’s a heart attack waiting to happen.
Those are things that we want to bear in mind as we think about how we’re investing our time. My question for you today, what kind of return are you getting on your time? Are you really producing what you want to produce? Those hours you’re spending with your business or your employer, are they really producing the results they need to be producing? And if they’re not, then what are you going to do to tweak, and adjust, and refine the way that you are utilizing this most precious asset?
Anyway, just a few thoughts for you today. I hope you’ll take those to heart and I’ll talk to you again soon.