STRONGER TOGETHER: Unlocking the power of time

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Last updated: 29/05/2023

"STRONGER TOGETHER" is a weekly column where Tanya explores key issues. This week Tanya discusses time assets and debts, and the power of time.

By IMPACT Community Services Managing Director Tanya O'Shea

Tanya O'Shea, IMPACT Community Services Managing Director

As I reflect on my journey of personal growth and self-improvement, I can't help but ponder upon the profound wisdom encapsulated in James Clear's quote about time assets and time debts:

“Time assets are choices that save you time in the future. Think: saying no to a meeting, automating a task, working on something that persists and compounds. Time debts are choices that must be repaid and cost you time in the future. Think: saying yes to a meeting, doing sloppy work that will need to be revised, etc. Time assets are an investment. Time debts are an expense."

Over the years, I have come to realise that managing my time effectively is not just a matter of ticking items off a to-do list; it is a conscious choice between investing in my future or accumulating debts that I must repay.

I vividly recall a time when I struggled to strike a balance between my professional and personal life. Every request for a meeting seemed urgent and important, and I found myself saying "yes" to almost every invitation. Little did I realise that by doing so, I was accumulating time debts. The toll was substantial. My evenings and weekends, which should have been dedicated to recharging and spending quality time with loved ones, were squandered on catching up with work I had put off. The debt kept mounting, and my personal relationships suffered as a result.

It was during this period that I stumbled upon the concept of time assets. I started re-evaluating each request for my time, weighing its potential value against the cost it would incur in terms of time and energy. Saying "no" became my superpower. By reclaiming those hours and redirecting my focus towards tasks that persisted and compounded, I discovered the true value of time assets.

Automating repetitive tasks became another game-changer. Instead of slogging through mundane activities that drained my time and creativity, I sought out tools and technologies that could streamline these processes. The initial investment of time and effort to set up automation systems paid off handsomely in the long run. As I watched my workload decrease and my productivity soar, I realised the power of compounding time assets.

This journey of balancing time assets and time debts has taught me a valuable lesson: time is the most precious resource we possess. Every decision we make either invests in our future or incurs a debt we must repay. By consciously choosing to invest in time assets, we can create a life filled with meaningful experiences, personal growth, and deep connections.

So, let’s heed the wisdom of James Clear's words and strive to make deliberate choices in managing our time. Embrace the notion that time assets are investments in ourselves, while time debts are expenses that deplete our most valuable resource. May we build a future that is abundant with time well spent and savour the rewards of a life lived intentionally.

Please note: This website may contain references to, or feature images, videos, and voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who have passed away.

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