We tend to be procrastinators, leaving for tomorrow important tasks that we could do today. We overvalue our time today and discount its value in the future. If we look at this from a financial perspective, it’s true: money today is worth more than money tomorrow. However, sometimes we confuse this intuition with the value of investment. Anything you build or invest in today, if done well, will pay off in the future and at a much higher rate than you would otherwise imagine. By investing in yourself and your projects, you can train yourself for a higher position, build your wealth, a company, practically anything.
Looking back, you will never regret having invested in yourself today rather than a year or two years from now. The sooner you start, the better because you are your best investment, and use your time and resources.
The Nature of Time
Our time will fill up no matter what. It’s like a sponge. Make sure you put in the larger rocks first to give you the biggest benefits in the short term. Don’t do the easy, quick fixes that will get you nowhere, even if it might feel good to tick easy items off of your to-do list. I know that working on those high-value items, such as courses and hard projects, take time and effort. But by simply starting, the results will speak for themselves.
Another way of examining this is the Eisenhower/Covey diagram of urgent vs. important.
The four quadrants are: “urgent and important,” “not urgent and important,” “urgent but not important,” and “not urgent and not important.” Our primary focus should constantly be on the important, yet we tend to spend a lot of time in many of the other quadrants – “not urgent, not important” being the center of all distractions. “Urgent, unimportant” can have us claiming a false sense of importance, where we are always busy but never getting anything done.
Sometimes we will have “urgent and important” items show up in our lives, and we must deal with those tasks immediately. Life is, after all, unpredictable. But where we want to spend the majority of our time is in the quadrant of “not urgent yet important” – the place of building and investment. Here is where we take courses, build systems and processes, and develop ourselves, our teams, and our companies.
There is no more important task than that.
What stops us is that these types of actions often take a long time and a lot of effort, but Rome was not built in a day, and neither will your company or you. With patience, you will grow little by little, day by day. Even for shorter periods, take the time to work on what matters the most to you. Trust me, it might seem impossible, but start by putting in 5 minutes each day, and pretty soon, you will be working for much longer periods.
As time passes, we barely notice, and soon we have built an entire city.
This only happens if we take the time each day to invest in ourselves and the future. So, make the space. Start today, and invest in yourself. You will not regret it. I promise.