Last night I was thumbing through Facebook on my phone while lying in bed.  I saw an article posted by James Clear pop up on my feed.  James Clear is one of these guys that posts short form, informative articles on productivity and general life-hacking.

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This one in particular was about how do you value your time.  This is an important article and idea in and of itself – but it was a word in the first paragraph that got me thinking: investing.  He pointed out that people who invest their time in relationships, grow meaningful relationships.

The word just stuck in my  head.. investing.

Now, we’ve all got stuff to do.

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But think of the mindset:  “I have stuff to do.”  or, “I have to work.”

As a freelancer there is always the ever present need to “work.”  Or more like, “I have to work.”  I have to make sure I work.  I have to make sure I log the hours.

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You can imagine this part of your brain as “boss” telling another, “worker bee” part of your brain to “work.”

But what if that was the wrong way go go about it?

I know for me personally, most of my time is spent tricking myself into getting things done.  I have no major incentive plan, no cute co-worker to impress, no boss hounding me, I have things that I’m supposed to do.  If I want to make money, I have to work.  If I want to have a comic done, I need to draw pages.

But what if it’s not so much about “working” as it is about “investing.”

investing

The word, “investing” probably brings up images of money, charts, stocks, and profits.  You invest in your 401K and watch it (hopefully) grow.  You make investments when you buy stocks and hope they grow.

So, what if instead of “working” and logging hours, we think of in terms of “investing.”  Instead of, I need to draw some pages, what if the mindset was: “I’m going to spend some time investing in my comic.”

We don’t have copious amounts of money (not yet!), but we do have a valuable resource: time.  We invest our time into various project: work, art, relationships.

So I’m going to be trying this on for size and thinking about things in terms of investing into areas of my life I want to grow.

Image of female farmer sowing seed in the garden

So, instead of the internal phrase, “I’ve got to…” what if we start to think along the lines of, “right now I’m going to spend some time investing in… my comic.” Or maybe it’s, “I’m going to spend some time investing in new business.”

Time is a precious resource – and how we use it is important.  Results come from what you focus on.  Try not to focus on what you don’t have, and the anxious feelings of what you lack, focus on what you want to invest in.