To Value Time Management, View Your Time as Money
What Students Think of Time Management
Most students I work with don’t (want to) manage their time. They find it annoying that they have to maintain a to-do list, update their calendar, constantly figure out how to schedule in time to do things on their to-do list and then do it.
I imagine them thinking, “Why manage my time? It hasn’t created any problems for me so far. My life is okay. I still get what I want most of the time.”
If it were up to them, they would rather not plan their time and spend it however they want to, playing video games, going down YouTube rabbit holes, and scrolling through social media until infinity or they pass out from sleepiness.
The Misguided Student Belief and View of Time
Most students believe they have an unlimited amount of time and the way they spend it now will have no consequences in the future. They think they will be young forever and there won’t be any consequences as a human being limited by time, the economic reality of one day having to make a living for themselves, and that maybe everything they could ever want one day will just be given to them without having to earn it or offer anything in exchange.
Ah, to be young. Still dreaming, unconscious of the realities on the horizon as the alarm clock of real life continues to count down.
How to Value Time Management
Every day there are 86,400 seconds, which is 1,440 minutes. 24 hours.
To teach students time management, it’s more helpful to ask them to view time as money. Because once you view your time as money, you start to see your calendar — one of the most fundamental tools for time management that most student’s don’t want to use at all — a lot differently.
Every day you have 86,400 dollars to potentially invest.
Suddenly your calendar is no longer a schedule telling you what to do. Your calendar is now an investment portfolio of what you might get in return.
Whether planned or unplanned, intended or unintended, your time is being spent. And planning your day gives you the best chance in how it’s spend, to control whether it will be wasted and lost forever or invested to produce a reward in the future.
And if you put in the work to make your calendar an exact record of how you spend your time (much like how an accountant tracks and audits expenses), you can categorize each way you spend your time as a venture.
Certain ventures will yield specific returns. The more you invest in those ventures, the greater you will yield as your reward.
But some ventures will just be a waste. They will either return nothing or end up costing more in the future.
What you invest in now will determine what you can reap in the future, and some achievements required decades to reach their full peak of reward.
How Much Michael Jordan’s and Bill Gates’ Time is Worth
Michael Jordan earned $34,246 per hour in 2019 according to an article published by Sportscasting. He spent his entire youth playing basketball and baseball, played it in college, and even when he was in the NBA he approached his trained as a full-time job with mandatory overtime. It allowed him to secure his contract with the Chicago Bulls and all his sponsorships.
Bill Gates? He earned $45,720 per hour from 2017–2018 according to an article published by Hustlers Digest. But Bill Gates also spent almost every free minute he had working with computers and programming to develop the expertise that would eventually be leveraged to build Microsoft when he dropped out of Harvard midway through.
Even for professional gamers still had to spend time figuring out how to be paid for it. They didn’t just play video games. They also live-streamed and clocked in to do so like it was a job they had to show up for. They also made time to promote themselves on the right media channels whether it’s YouTube, Twitch, or their own gaming blog. They thought deliberately about how they would market themselves and distribute their media. They didn’t just get discovered and got offered treasure chests full of money instantly. They still had to review and negotiate offers, and even their offers came with expectations and requirements for what they had do to make their sponsors’ investments worthwhile.
The real benefit of time management isn’t “managed time.” It’s not being organized or getting homework done so you can go to sleep at a reasonable hour.
The real benefit of time management is that it helps foster intentionality in whatever it is you do so you can maximize the odds of obtaining what you truly want. Sure, you could do without a plan and without tracking how you invest your time into each pursuit and endeavor. But successful investors will at a minimum look at tracked and measured data to make decisions, which are decisions on how to act.
Just remember. Whether you choose to track, plan, and manage your time or not, it’s being spent every second whether or not you want it to be.