“Time” has been on my mind a lot lately. Our son Peter just graduated from high school, and I put together a slideshow of the 18 years since his birth. When the slideshow was completed and we all sat down to watch it, there were many smiles, many laughs, and a few tears. 18 years is a very long time that now seems to have flown by so quickly. I’m struck by all the times during his life that I was looking forward to something else. Now I’m looking back and wishing the time hadn’t gone by so quickly.
Time has many positive attributes too. I was just meeting with a client and we were reviewing an investment account that has been invested with us for 20 years. The account had doubled twice, or increased four-fold, through a fairly simple investment strategy. This nice result occurred not so much from the brilliance of our investing, but instead through patience and discipline, and through the power of compound interest over time. Time can be your friend too.
There are a lot of books and articles written about how to get the most out of the time we have. We seem to be in a perpetual quest to maximize our productivity, as if there is a meaningful reward for whoever gets the most done in their 24-hour day. The time I enjoy the most though, is the time that isn’t rushed. It is having coffee on the porch with my family, talking about things that are really important, or not. It is a casual lunch with a friend or client, where neither one of us has to rush off. It is kicking back after a round of golf, having a cold drink without the pressure to hurry on to the next thing. I wonder how many of those time management books would view that as a good use of time.
The best time management tool I’ve found is to start each day unhurried; reading, thinking and praying. Martin Luther has said, “I have so much to do today that I’m going to need to spend three hours in prayer in order to be able to get it all done.” My natural inclination when I’m too busy is to cut out the 30 minutes I try to spend getting my head on straight, not adding to it!
C.S. Lewis said, “The future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of sixty minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is.” The clock moves at the same speed for everyone. If you’re finding that it feels like your clock is moving too fast, spend some time “slowing down” and see if that doesn’t fix the problem.
*Investing entails risk, including the potential for loss of principal.
* Past results are not predictive of future results.
* The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results.