It took a long conversation with a friend at lunch, mulling over excuses and peeling back the layers I’d used to mask the truth to realize this one thing.
The general population aren’t aware of their one true asset. Could be due to society convoluting the hierarchy of importance. Placing superficial, materialistic wants above this one thing. Then again according to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, self actualization can’t be achieved until our most basic needs are met. Food, water, shelter, procreation. Once those demands are fulfilled we then have other barriers & needs to check off before we reach a point of self examination, reflection & improvement.
At a young age most of us were plopped in-front of screens for entertainment, which now ironically plays a major factor in our conditioning. We were also indoctrinated through our educational system. We were fed the idealisms of the American Dream. Work hard to one day find a job where after giving 15+ years of service you’ll finally break into the upper middle class, that’s where the life is. We’re trained to believe money is scarce and getting it is priority. With education comes money. With years of service comes more money. If you can gather enough money you can live the dream!
So what do we do? We believe money and physical possessions are assets. We trivialize our one true asset for commodities.
Now I’m not saying they aren’t important, they sure as hell make life more enjoyable, but in pursuit of “things” we should never waste or ignore the expenditure of our one true asset.
So what is this one true asset it took a heart to heart conversation with a friend for me to realize how outlandish it is for us to devalue it?
The answer is TIME. Our time is the most valuable asset we have, everything else is secondary. With time a person can do ANYTHING. With enough time you can make millions, go broke and make it all back.
After realizing TIME was our only true asset. I sat down and did an audit of my life so far. Boy, I wasted a lot of time on the wrong things. Teenage years were wasted on television, video games, hanging with friends and chasing the opposite sex. Luckily when I got into my twenties I got a little more serious and utilized my time a little more efficiently, though it wasn’t maximized for higher input/output.
Now in my late twenties, after realizing “time is precious”, “time is our only true asset”, “time is the one thing that can never be retrieved” the urgency to utilize my time as efficiently as possible is top priority.
Additionally, to give more context around time management, here are some things you can do to improve the ROI on your time (I do all these things).
Less garbage in
Filter out superfluous media and reduce time spent “browsing” low value content. If the information served doesn’t contain value for a certain task or scenario, ignore it. I use ad blocks and filters to control what content is served on any feed I look at. Also reduce TV consumption. Watch TV is a great way to decompress, but you realistically only need a few hours on the weekend for that.
Break Down of Goals
Some people do yearly goals, that’s too broad. Break your yearly goals down to quarterly goals (every 3 months), then break your quarterly goals into monthly. I go as far as to break my goals down to a daily list, which is geared towards doing a couple things per day that add up to the big years goal.
Tackle your high value tasks first before focusing on low value work. At times low value task seem easiest to tackle (because it is) but be sure to check the ROI on the task at hand before executing. Don’t spend your time doing low value/reward tasks and think you’re making an impact.
Backlog low value, high effort tasks, makes no sense tackling something that will never benefit you.
It’s true that you are a reflection of the people you associate yourself with, so aim to converse with high output, smart individuals who understand the value of time and actions required for success. Setting up a monthly call to converse with peers is a great ways to reflect on wins & mistakes, plus ideate on solution for future scenarios.