189 Investing Time vs. Spending Time: How to Make Time Investments That Pay Off

Investing Time vs. Spending Time: How to Make Time Investments That Pay Off, time management, organization, productivity


There is a difference between spending time and investing time. Spending time refers to activities that bring immediate results without any future time-saving benefit. On the other hand, investing time implies engaging in tasks that might not have an instantaneous effect but lay the foundation for future time savings.

Striking the right balance between spending and investing time is the key to achieving productivity and preventing exhaustion. In this episode, I emphasize the importance of identifying whether your daily activities are centered around spending or investing time. I urge you to start my analyzing your day for both types of activities to ensure long-term productivity and maintain a sense of purpose.

In this episode, you will be able to:
1. Master the art of striking a balance between spending and investing time for enhanced productivity.
2. Discover the secret to identifying time investment activities that will pay off in the long run.
3. Learn how to maintain harmony in your life by dodging overwhelm and exhaustion.
4. Uncover planning techniques designed for effective time management and organization.
5. Realize the power of intentionality in daily time usage and the benefits it brings.

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00:00:00 Oh my goodness. Okay, today's episode is one I'm super excited to share with you because it's going to break down two distinct ways that you are withdrawing from your available time every single day. So we're going to be having the conversation around are you spending time or are you investing time? So let's just jump right in and get started.

00:00:26 Welcome to the Work + Life Harmony podcast. I'm your host, Megan Sumrell. I'm the creator of the Top program and Top Planner, teaching all things time management, organization, and productivity for women. I'm also a mom and wife, and just like you, I'm juggling hashtag all the things while running multiple businesses and a family. Guess what?

00:00:43 You don't have to feel constantly overwhelmed, exhausted, and stressed out. There is another way. When you have the right systems and tools to plan and manage your time, you can live a life of harmony. This is your show to learn from me and other amazing women how to master your time, planning, and organization, to skyrocket your productivity so you can have Work + Life Harmony. If you're ready to stop feeling overwhelmed, this is the show for you.

00:01:07 And if you're new here, I'd love to get you started with my Work + Life Harmony assessment. All you have to do is DM me on Instagram @MeganSumrell with the word Harmony and my team will send it right over.

00:01:21 Hey there. Welcome back to the Work + Life Harmony podcast. I am thrilled to have this conversation here with you today. One of the perks that I have found as being a business owner is when I get the opportunity to meet other amazing business owners that are on a similar mission that I am, to help people reclaim their time, simplify their lives, feel like they're back in the driver's seat. And one of my dear friends that I now have, thanks to this amazing journey is Katie Wells, and I've had her here on the podcast before.

00:01:51 I don't have her on today, but today's topic is inspired by a conversation I had with her. I was actually recording an episode to be on her podcast, which again, the maximize minimalist. If you have not subscribed, you definitely want to. And she shared an idea with me. She's kind of mentioned it in passing, which is there is a difference between spending time and investing time.

00:02:14 And we went off on a different discussion, but that stuck with me and I've been putting a lot of thought into it and so I thought it would be fantastic topic to bring up here today and how it relates to my whole philosophy and approach to time management inside of my signature Top framework. Top is time management, organization and productivity. It's what we break down and teach inside the Top program. One of the nine components is alignment and this really leans into this idea of how we are aligning how we are. I was about to say spending time, but I don't want to in terms of how we are taking withdrawals all day long from our time.

00:02:54 All right, and I've got some homework for you at the end of our episode here today. So when we think about how we go about our daily living, right, all day long, every single day, we are all given 24 hours, right? And I've used money analogies a lot with time because it works well. So we're going to do that again here today. So we all have the same 24 hours deposited into our account for the day in terms of the amount of hours that we have our time.

00:03:23 And throughout the day, as every minute passes, essentially we are withdrawing from that until we are left with zero at the end of the day. And then we start over and there's really no way to avoid that. Time is in motion. And when we reframe how we think about what those withdrawals are and recognize there are two types of withdrawals that we're making throughout the day. There's the withdrawal type where we are spending time, and then there's a withdrawal type where we are investing time.

00:03:59 All right, so I kind of want to talk about the subtle difference between the two. I'm going to give you kind of an analogy, and then we're going to give some examples of what spending time is versus investing time. And both, I believe we need to have a healthy mix of both. If we go about only spending time and not investing time, we are going to miss out on some opportunities. And if we're only investing time and not spending time, things may go awry as well.

00:04:26 So let's first look at what spending time is in this example. So when I talk about spending time as form number one of withdrawing from our time throughout the day, I'm thinking of what are those things that we do that give an instant result without any future time saving benefit? All right? So that's what I mean by spending time. Now, when we take a withdrawal in the form of investing time, it means that the activity that we're doing with that withdrawal of time is set up to actually save us time in the future.

00:05:02 All right, so let's give an example of money. Let's say I deposited $24 into your bank account notice, $24, 24 hours, okay, throughout the and you're to spend it throughout the day. Anything that you were to spend money on and you see where it went, and you go purchase something that maybe gives you an instant result, maybe an instant gratification. Like maybe you go buy a sandwich and you eat it. All right?

00:05:30 That would be in the form of spending money. We're not investing that money. It's not going to turn into anything in the future. But it was something we needed to do. We needed to feed our body.

00:05:39 So we spent some money on some food and we ate it. All right? That's an example of spending money. It's not a bad thing. It was required.

00:05:45 It's what we did. Some other ways that we can spend money that aren't as easy to quantify sometimes is sometimes some of those subscription things, right? So maybe you have a subscription to Pandora or to Netflix or to Apple Music or whatever money is being deposited or money is being withdrawn. It's not something we physically see. But again, our money is going there.

00:06:06 So that's just some simple examples of spending money. Now, investing money, again, we have to take that withdrawal. So maybe you take $5 out of that 24 and you go put it into an account that's going to earn interest. So the money is still being withdrawn from that 24, but now it's being spent in such a way that it is going to grow over time. And maybe six months later, instead of having $5, now you have $8.

00:06:37 So you took that money, you invested it, and now it's grown to something that's going to give you more money in the future. All right? Now, the reason I gave the spending money on, like, buying a healthy sandwich for lunch is I think sometimes people hear the term spending money and they instantly think something negative, right? Oh, you're just spending wastefully. Absolutely not.

00:06:58 And the same is true with time. There are a lot of things that we spend our time on that aren't wasteful. Right. There are things that need to happen. So let's break this down and give some examples of the difference between spending time and investing time.

00:07:15 All right? And both again, both are, I think, crucial to how we go about our lives. So let's think about some examples of things with day to day living where we are spending time, meaning we are withdrawing from the time that we have for the day we are doing things. But those things are not what I would consider an investment to help us save time in the future. All right?

00:07:39 So maybe after dinner, I'm washing the dishes and I'm putting them into the dishwasher. I spent time doing that. It needed to be done. Whether I did it right after dinner or whether I waited 2 hours and did it, it's still going to take me about the same amount of time. All right?

00:07:52 So that's a way that I am spending time. It needed to be done. Maybe there is an activity that I'm working on that I need to do, and I'm going to spend time on it. Watching a movie. That's a way that I'm spending time.

00:08:05 Notice I'm not saying whether it's good or bad, but these are things that in the moment that time is gone, we can't reclaim it. And that activity did not create maybe an abundance of time in the future. So now let's flip it around. Let's talk about what are some activities, what are ways that we take withdrawals from our time throughout the day that's actually investing, an actual investment of time. Now, I'm sure you all know with the very first thing I'm going to use as an example, weekly planning.

00:08:39 All right? So the time investment, the time I spend every week, usually around 15 ish minutes because I've been doing this for a long time, so I can do it really fast. So that time investment of 15 minutes of sitting down and creating a very intentional weekly plan can save me hours, hours in the upcoming week where I'm not wasting time trying to figure out what to do. All right? So the time is gone.

00:09:05 I used that 15 minutes, but it was an investment in my time because it's going to save me time all week long. Another type of an investment might be you carving out 30 or 45 minutes to do something wellness related, right? Taking that time and going to the gym, doing a walk, maybe doing yoga, meditation, whatever, things that actually have an investment in your time in the future. So I look at the time I spend at the gym or out for a run as an investment in my time because it is going to pay off in the future. Because when I can stay both physically and mentally sharp, I can do things faster.

00:09:47 So that's how it's going to save time for me in the future. Another form of investing your time might be just sitting down and we love to have family game nights. I don't consider that a spending time. I consider that an investment in my time because the time that we are sitting down and spending together will pay off in the future. It has future rewards and benefits for me.

00:10:11 And then thinking about all the amazing work that Katie Wells does with decluttering any time that I am spending in creating an organizational system around my house. So maybe I am decluttering a pantry and getting it organized. I look at that as an investment in my time because of the savings I'm going to have of easily being able to find what I am looking for in the future, right? So again, our days, our weeks, our months are going to be filled with a combination of us spending time versus investing in our time. All right?

00:10:51 Now a lot of people today have the vast majority of their time in spending mode. And so here's the homework that I want to give to you to do here for the day or today, do it today. When you climb into bed tonight, I want you to take two, three minutes and think back on your day. Think about all the ways that you withdrew chunks of time throughout your 24 hours and look for ways in which you spent some of that. You took a withdrawal and it was an investment of time.

00:11:32 And if you are looking back over your day and you are not seeing anything that you did that you could put in the bucket of investing your time, then I want to challenge you to make sure that tomorrow you have something on your calendar that is you investing time. Because if you just live a life of constant spending time mode, that is going to lead to a state of overwhelm, potentially. It can lead to exhaustion. And it can also lead to us being in a place where we kind of have that loss of self or purpose, right where we just feel like it's. Wake up.

00:12:15 Rinse, repeat. I'm just here, I'm just doing the things and I don't know why and I'm not feeling fulfilled. So keep an awareness of that. Now, if you are someone that feels like you are currently in a spending time mode the vast majority of time and you're not investing any time and you're ready to take that first step to do so, I've got a great free training available for you to go and grab. You can just go to theworklifeharmony.com sign up and it's a video training that you'll be able to watch at your discretion and it's going to kind of introduce you to some of these planning and time management techniques that are going to be an investment of your time and not just spending time.

00:13:03 Now, if you're on Instagram, I'd love for you to come find me over there at Megan Somerset Me A DM and let me know how you are going to invest in your time this week as well. Have a great one. I'll see you back here again next week. Getting on top of all things time management, organization, and productivity doesn't have to stop just because this episode is over. If you want one, tap access to all of my training and current top podcasts, go to the App Store or Google Play, and download The Pink Bee app.

00:13:32 One word ThePinkBee. It is jampacked with simple yet powerful tips and strategies to get you out of overwhelm and into harmony. And if you have a question you want me to cover on a future episode, go to iTunes and ask your question in the podcast review section. And while you're there, don't forget to leave a five-star review. 

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