When I was a new hire at Procter & Gamble, my first boss was a retired Marine who took me under his wing like the daughter he never had. In one of our first meetings, he gave me the business card of his personal financial advisor and suggested I set up an appointment with him.
“Even if you don’t,” Jim admonished, “I would encourage you to take a portion of your paycheck every month and put it directly into stock or savings instead of your checking account. If you adopt just this one habit, you’ll build up a healthy savings over time, without ever having to think about it again.”
Boy, was he right about that! I put just $100 from each paycheck into an account from that day forward. It was such a little bit of money, barely noticeable, really. But I was faithful to the process. And when I look at the value of just that one account today, 20 years later, it’s hard to believe what’s happened to it.
The consistency is what mattered.
In fact, this “pay yourself first” approach is widely accepted in financial circles as the simplest path to accruing savings.
That’s because it’s temptation-proof.
The idea is that when you get paid, you send a predetermined amount of money to savings (or investment) BEFORE you ever have a chance to spend it! If it never comes into your bank account, you can’t be tempted to spend it on that new outfit or last minute plane tickets instead of your 401K.
Simple enough. But what does this have to do with time management?
As it turns out…everything.
Let me explain.
We’re standing here on the cusp of a brand new month. Thirty whole days stretch out before us like blank white boxes ready to be filled.
Except…. wait. They’re not actually blank, are they? The next 30 days already have appointments plotted into them, beginning to clamor for your time and attention.
Concerts and performances
Kind of like your paycheck, right?
So here’s where that old school money management trick comes into play.
Right now, before it has a chance to get filled up, go look at the first calendar page that is still mostly blank (it’s probably two months out, but it could even be three) and start protecting time on that page for your most important priorities.
Think about the things you always say you want to do but just can’t seem to find time for. Book time for those NOW.
Then, later, you can squeeze in all those mundane meetings and appointments around the edges, knowing that your most important priorities have already been protected.
Imagine if you protected just two hours a week for something you feel called to do.
Writing a book.
Learning a language.
Remodeling a room of your home.
Getting in shape.
Writing a business plan.
Reading the Bible.
Strengthening your marriage.
By this time next year, you’d have invested more than 100 hours against that priority.
It adds up, just like that $100 a month into an investment does.
Are you ready to pay yourself first and find out?
Note: I am accepting the last new clients of 2016 into my Life Design Boot Camp right now and spots are filling fast. The approach outlined in this post is just ONE of the practices I will teach you to build momentum toward your biggest dreams. If you’re ready to reap the rewards of making time for what really matters, then let’s talk about how I can help you make it happen.