Thought of the Day: On Time & How to Invest It

You’re overwhelmingly busy. You’re probably frantic. You’re doing the deal. Vetting new hires. Finishing the “patch” to get out the release. Landing the funding. But you can’t do everything. In fact, you can’t even do two things at once.

Take a moment, each morning, to list your top three priorities. At the end of each day, check that you’ve addressed your #1 task to very best of your abilities. Next, that you’ve meted out the remainder of your time according to your ranked priorities (more time on #2, than on #3, etc.). If you only get to #1, but you address this task as well as you can, it will be enough. But if you’ve expended your energy in other ways, chances are you’ve wasted time — and this is the one thing you cannot get back.

Lost wealth may be replaced by industry, lost knowledge by study, lost health by temperance or medicine, but lost time is gone forever.

Samuel Smiles

So spend it well founders.

“If you want to make good use of your time, you’ve got to know what’s most important and then give it all you’ve got.”

Lee Iacocca

“It’s not enough to be busy, so are the ants. The question is, what are we busy about?”

Henry David Thoreau

“The key is in not spending time, but in investing it.”

Stephen R. Covey

For more on how to invest your time well, take 10 minutes to reread Chris Michel’s terrific F|R essay called Outcomes vs. Activity. Chris was the founder of Military.com, and more recently, of <a href=” Affinity Labs “>Affinity Labs. Both were both bought by Monster.com. Affinity Labs is focused on building a global network of digital communities. Founded in 2006, the company was backed by the Mayfield Fund and Trinity Ventures and acquired by Monster Worldwide (Nasdaq:MNST) in January for $61 million in cash. Military.com, the nation’s largest military membership organization, connects its over 9 million members to the lifelong benefits of military service and was acquired by Monster in 2004. Chris attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He also holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School and is a Henry Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute and is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations.