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  • Writer's pictureShohreh R Aftahi, PhD

Your Scarcest Resource

Most of us use elaborate procedures for managing our money. We examine the reasons why we select a specific portfolio to invest our money in and hire financial advisors, business attorneys, or other resources to make sure we are making sound investment decisions.

Our time, in contrast, goes largely unmanaged. Although phone calls, emails, instant messages, meetings, social media, television…etc. eat up hours in every one of our days, we have few rules to manage those interactions. In fact, most of us have no clear understanding of how we are spending our time. Not surprisingly, that time is often squandered on activities that produce very little results.

Effective managing time focuses on individual actions. I share with my clients to reassert control over their time and become far more selective about what they spend their time on. The secret is in replacing lower value activities with higher value activities. To do that you must be crystal clear on:

  • What your objectives and goals are

  • What actions you must take to achieve each goal

  • Prioritize your tasks to be done each day

  • Only focus on high value activities

This approach will enable you to use your time most effectively and produce much desired results in shorter timeframe. In this age of information-overload, it is crucial to quiet the noise to be able to process the valuable information relevant to our objectives.

This concept is true for organizations as well. Organizations are very purposeful in how their capital is invested; however, time is often left unmanaged and in turn devoted to unproductive internal meetings that detract from time spent with customers or teams. Organizations become bloated, bureaucratic, and slow, and as a result their financial performance suffers. There is no work-life balance as employees spend an ever-increasing number of hours away from their families and friends, with little to show for it.

Forward-thinking organizations expect leaders to treat time as a scarce resource and to invest it wisely to bring as much discipline to their time budgets as to their capital budgets. The results illustrate that these companies have lowered their overhead expenses; they have reinvested myriad hours of previously unproductive time for executives and employees to fuel innovation and accelerating sustainable, profitable growth.

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