It's About Time

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One of the biggest opportunities for more wealth and more life I can think of is around time. We do too much of the wrong things, which leaves not enough time for many that matter most. We equate being filled up with hard work, as virtuous. It feels safe. It must be productive. (Or is it?) It’s a badge of courage, honor, something……

I work with high-net-worth families, business owners, executives, professionals, and others that, with a few passive wealth exceptions, have one thing in common. They’re all slammed. People who are successful “on the goal line,” in terms of their careers, businesses, and financial providing activities, come by it honestly. They probably grew up with hard-working parents. They no doubt had something to prove. They are hard workers. (I never meet the lazy ones. They don’t make very good clients!)

People who are successful “on the goal line,” in terms of their careers, businesses, and financial providing activities, come by it honestly. They probably grew up with hard-working parents. They no doubt had something to prove.

But, time out. I say it again. They are too busy. I can see it. They can see it to but do it anyway. They know they need to change but don’t really know how. They are too busy to figure out how not to be so busy. I, on the other hand, on the outside looking in, see it a little differently.

1. They can change.

2. They can get started and see the impact in their lives and their outcomes very quickly.

3. If they are that busy, they are most certainly missing critical opportunities.

4. What they gain from that change will far outweigh what they give up.

5. The little voice in the back of their minds that says “someday”, is a bold-faced liar.

I have lived the 3,500 hours a year work-life, and the grace and ease life. I’ll take the latter! It is not about giving up, copping out, or not making money. To the contrary.

Recommendation #1: Take an inventory. I use an Excel tool I have created with my clients. They tend not to like to do it in the beginning. They’re probably too busy…. But, we wrestle with it a little and get a good picture of where their 168 hours in a typical week goes. Once you have the picture on one piece of paper, you know where to start. You spend X a week sleeping, and Y commuting. I then divide it between work and personal. We can see the average work week, and then break that down between highest-and-best use activities and lower-value activities. On the personal side, we see what we have for working out, time with spouse, time for personal inside work, kids, chores, etc.

Recommendation #2: Contemplate thoughtfully and creatively. Start by drawing another the column that represents your “Ideal Scene”. That is if I really had to – if I could be King for a day – what would serve me best in terms of my financial wealth and my life? It’s only, say, the next 10 or 20 years! What would happen if I took 10 or 15 hours a week from those lower categories and put them into high-value categories? What if I took some work out of the equation, and just slowed down? Might I create more good, make better decisions, create more wealth, and really be with my kids before they are gone? This is not about being lazy. It’s about playing it smart.

Recommendation #3: Create a plan and march forward. I asked one of my business owner clients to sit at the dining room table with a stack of note cards and write on them everything he does. Then put the 25% highest value to his company, money, family, and his life dream in one pile. Then, I asked him to take his arm and sweep the rest of them off onto the floor. I can tell you his face lit up like a little kid! I did not mean that literally. But, do you suppose that over some period of time we could take a ton of those lower category items off his plate? Of course, we can. He owns the company.

He is a capable guy. Can he create more financial and personal wealth by doing that? Of course, he can. The way we get there is to create a plan and march forward. We hire people, delegate differently, pay up for more talent, give a few things up, make different decisions, whatever it is. There are always workable solutions. This may take a quarter or a year, but the results start to show up really fast.

Until we meet- Good luck and God speed!

Time and StressDon Scott