“I will not be able to attend the call because I will be in flight”.
I recently stated these words to a customer to which the response was “understood, we can find another time”.
On a separate occasion, when said I would not be able to attend a call because I had that hour time blocked to read or think, it elicited a completely different response!
Somehow, we can explain to ourselves, our clients, or friends that because we are on an airplane and unable to transmit calls, this is a valid reason for being unavailable. If, however, we are theoretically available, our personal priorities or needs fall in favor of meeting the needs of others.
I have on many occasions heard friends tell me how productive they were on a flight because they didn’t have many distractions.
Does this mean I should take more flights to have an ability to allocate time for priorities tied to my goals?
We habitually use the phrase “time is money” yet if we truly equated them as one in the same, we would be investing our time in the same manner that we invest our money.
The compounding effect of investing our time is no different than the compound effect of investing our money.
If you reflect on past priorities where you have dedicated time to learning a skill or reading, it is easy to see the correlation between investing your time and investing your funds.
We should expand our mindset regarding “investment returns” to include investment returns on time.
Therefore, in the same way that we can spend money instead of investing our money, we can spend our time instead of investing our time.
How do you invest your time versus spend your time?
Think of when you purchased a stock or fund or any other investment. You made this selection thinking it would give you the highest return on investment (ROI) from all your available choices. Time works the same way. You have many choices of where you can spend your time so shouldn’t you choose those that you think will provide the highest ROI?
When you gravitate towards lower priority activities you are “spending your time” because they are providing the lowest returns for your personal growth.
For me personally, I invest my time when I set time aside to think, to read and work on my priorities.
When someone tells me they do not have the time to work on a priority where they are investing their time I will ask “if a family member got injured and needed your assistance would you find the time to help them? In these situations, you have clarity on your focus. It is an effortless decision.
When you block time on your calendar to focus on your priorities, you not only invest in yourself, but it also makes the decision effortless.
The next time someone says, “you got a minute?” make sure it isn’t during time you allocated as investment time!
“Why do we struggle to focus? It’s because we’re not actually clear on what we should be focusing on.” Geoff Woods