Here in the Teare household, there’s a competition brewing between my son and me to see who can read the most books this year.
What I’ve tried to explain is that it doesn’t matter how many books you read, it’s about how much of them you apply (even if that’s just one insight from a book).
I also tried to point out that the books I read are a lot bigger, and the fact that they are non-fiction (compared to his bedtime stories) makes them longer to read. But I’m always up for a challenge and don’t want to make excuses, so game on!
One book that really slowed down my tally (yet expanded my knowledge of personal finance immensely) was Tony Robbins’ Money: Master the Game. At almost 700 pages, it’s easily the longest book I’ve ever read, giving my son plenty of time to pull ahead!
In the book, Tony outlines a simple 6-step process for thinking more aggressively and purposefully about saving. After finding the exercise really helpful, I started to wonder if a similar process could be followed for other areas, such as pursuing our goals.
Rather than saving money to speed up our wealth goals, the focus would be on saving time – or at least using it more effectively – to focus on what really matters and speed up our personal goals.
Indeed, one of the challenges I hear most often from people in my audience is how to find time for the things that matter most, especially with so many other commitments to take care of.
After revising the steps a little, here’s what I came up with.
How to Find Time: The 6-Step Process to Accelerate Your Personal Goals
- Brainstorm all the recurring activities that could either reduce or stop doing completely to free up some extra time. This could be TV time, social media, your daily commute, bad sleeping habits, etc.
- Now think about how much time these things take. Identify the most significant activities (80/20 always!) and make a note of the associated time. Finally, work out how many times per week you engage in these activities for a big-picture reality check.
- Next, rate each activity on a scale of 0-10, based on how rewarding or meaningful it is to you, with 0 representing not rewarding at all and 10 representing extremely rewarding.
- Now think about what it would be like to achieve your biggest goals, dreams or desires. How would your life be different? How would you feel? What would your new reality look like?
- Here comes the big one: Decide which is more important to you: the pleasure you receive from engaging in the recurring activities from #1 above or the feeling of having achieved all your biggest goals.
- Write down at least three activities or time-sucks you are committed to removing from your life. Figure out how much extra time this will save you going forward.
Finally, I’m not saying that you have to eliminate all the activities you thought of in question 1 in order to make real progress on your big goals, but at some point, you need to realize that we all have the same amount of time each day. It’s your choice as to how you decide to use it.
Now if you’d excuse me, I have some reading to catch up on.
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