I use ONE question to help manage time.  This ONE question is…

“Will what I’m doing right now matter in five years?”

Think about how powerful this ONE question is and how it immediately cuts through all the B.S. we tend to tell ourselves. Consider your schedule for today. Will what you’re doing today matter in five years?

The beauty of this one simple question is that it doesn’t require a fancy-schmancy time-management system. It simply helps you make better choices with how to invest your time. Please notice the word “invest,” it’s kind of important! 🙂

This one question forces us to think about investing our time today to make tomorrow better. The average person doesn’t think this way. They aren’t strategic with how they invest their time, and this is why they tend to struggle from year to year.

One simple example is working for a paycheck, or a sales commission. Will you benefit in the future from the time you invested to earn the check?

The ONLY way the average person can benefit in the future from the time they invest today is by contributing 10-20% of their paychecks into their retirement plan. This is obviously a good idea, but they’re still not benefiting from their time investment. The company they work for actually benefits in the future from the time employees invest today.

If you work exclusively for a paycheck (or commission checks) and you’re not saving a portion of every check, you have zero future benefit for the work you do today.  You’re not using today to your advantage.

Magical things happen in the future when you start to benefit from the time you invest today. Below, I’ve listed several activities, and I’d like you to consider if the activity will make things better in five years:

1. Watching a sporting event.
2. Reading a marketing book.
3. Writing a marketing email.
4. Running sprints.
5. Working for a paycheck.
6. Going to a home inspection (real estate professional).
7. Making a feature sheet (real estate professional).
8. Playing fantasy football.
9. Checking to see what your friends are doing on Facebook
10. Reading a book to your child.
11. Volunteering in your community.
11. Getting adequate life insurance
12. Working 60 minutes on your best opportunity.

It’s easy to see that many of the activities we typically engage in really don’t matter very much. After using this question for years, I’ve found the following:

1. Doing something for/or with someone you love always outweighs every other activity. This is simply because we do not know what the future holds for the people in our lives. We shouldn’t take our time and our loved ones for granted.

Years ago, my daughter wanted to volunteer as a dog-walker at our local Humane Society. At the time, she wasn’t old enough to volunteer on her own. This meant I had to volunteer so she could come along with me. We had to attend classes and be trained on how to walk dogs. I was getting irritated because I was short on time and I also knew how to walk a dog. It just felt like a BIG waste of time.

Then I remembered this one question and instantly realized that this special time with my daughter mattered more than just about anything else.

2. Reading and learning tend to pay BIG future dividends, IF we apply what we learn. Years ago, I read all of Dan Kennedy’s books and used his strategies to build two very profitable businesses on top of each other. Dan’s books ultimately led to several million in future revenue.  

While I was building my businesses, I happened to read a book about how to invest in manufactured homes. I used what I learned to go out and buy my first home. I made many mistakes, but I kept at it and today I have a large monthly cashflow from what I learned in that one book. That book has easily been worth over a $1,000,000 to me and it continues to pay dividends today.

Today, I’m reading books to learn a system for creating cashflow in the stock market. I’ll be able to use these strategies for the rest of my life. I’ll be sharing what I’m doing in my Cashflownaire Newsletter, which you can get access to here.

3. When we work, we should invest our time into creating future monthly cashflow. This may mean using our time to buy income-producing assets: businesses, real estate, mobile homes, etc. Or using our time to create income-producing assets: books, information products, sales letters, sales videos, special reports, newsletters, membership, etc.

4. Thinking is probably the single-best activity we can do on a daily basis to make our futures better. This is why I try and always include a mental exercises in my Cashflownaire Newsletter. On the surface, it seems like thinking is a waste of time because it doesn’t feel productive. However, the more you start to think about things, like this time-management question, the easier life tends to get going forward. The average person doesn’t really take any time to think, and they end up on a never-ending treadmill of low-value activities.

Here’s a mental “thinking” exercise for you….

Look through your day-to-day schedule and consider which activities will matter in five years. For anything you identify that doesn’t seem to matter, eliminate it and reinvest the time into something that will matter.

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