by Angela Ozar | Featured Contributor
Lately, I seem to be running low on time and cash….anyone else? However, I care more about losing time than dollars. Time is more valuable to me because it’s non-refundable, unlike the jacket I just bought. If I can’t put a price tag on time, then why spending it so foolishly? This got me thinking: what if managed time like I manage money? I manage money successfully, so if I take what I’ve learned and apply it to managing my time, maybe I would be more productive with it.
I’m going to take care of myself first
I never listen to the safety instructions they give you on the airplane. Does anyone?! It’s partly because I’ve heard it a million times, but also because I would rather not think about it. I should take the instructions more seriously though, because there is a lot of wisdom in those instructions: “When the seat belt sign illuminates, you must fasten your seat belt”. Although annoying, those instructions are for our protection. In order to protect my future, I need to take care of it NOW.
Taking care of myself is like a payment for my future. I take care of my future first with my money. I’ve scheduled automated payments from my checking account to my savings and retirement accounts. The fact that it is automated means I do it consistently, and by the time I retire, I’ll have enough to live on and extra to be generous with. Now, if I could just automate working out, resting, eating healthy, and sleeping! If I’m modeling my time after how I use money, then those things have to come first in order to be my best.
I’m going to use what I have
I’m in a program called Emerging Leaders, where I attend four full day workshops and several webinars over the course of the next nine months. The first module is titled “Self”, which is dedicated to discovering our own unique leadership style and strengths. In the first full day workshop, the instructor, Maggie Frye, asked the class the question, “Which strengths are most common among great leaders?” I thought it was the ability to pull off a great pantsuit, and a sport a bleach blonde toupé. Guess I’ve been watching too much CNN at the gym. Maggie went on to explain the insight of Tom Rath and Barry Conchie, authors of Strengths Based Leadership. She shared, “The most effective leaders are the ones who figure out how to best use what they’ve got.” This leadership principle could be applied to many different facets of life, including money and time.
I use what I have rather easily when it comes to money. I’ve established a personal standard for managing my finances: I only spend what I have. However, it is getting much tougher to live by that rule when I have half the income I used to. It’s too bad my love of lattes and going out to dinner didn’t get cut in half. I rely a little bit more on my credit card now to see me through the next paycheck. When I do charge things though, I know I have the money to pay for them.
When it comes to time, everyone has the same amount. We all have 24 hours in a day, and we each have a choice on how to spend it. From now on, I’m going to use the time I’ve been given to the best of my ability. I can no longer use the excuse I don’t have enough time, because I have the same as everyone else. I need to get better at how I spend it.
I’m going to give more and take less
To me, it is important that I’m generous with what I’ve been given, whether it’s donating to causes I believe in, treating a friend to dinner, or giving a gift. I see that money spent as an investment, in which I always get a good return. While I enjoy being able to give money, I don’t like asking to take someone’s hard earned cash. Somehow though, I have no problem asking for their time, which is way more valuable. How would it change the way people viewed me if I made a habit to give more of my time and take less of theirs? I have a feeling I would get a good return on my investment.
Inspired by her career move from a corporate analyst to working for a startup accelerator, Angela Ozar writes about how paying off her student loan debt and saving early for retirement changed her life.
She provides a fresh, entertaining, and practical approach to personal finance for young professional women in her blog The Girl Millionaire. Her blog makes finance fun.
Angela is also helping to grow female startups in the Cincinnati/NKY area as Program Manager of Bad Girl Ventures, Inc., an accelerator that aids in scaling women owned businesses through education, mentoring, and financing in Cincinnati and Cleveland, Ohio.
She is a big fan of nature, an expert wreath maker, and would rather eat brussel sprouts than cake.