Our first article focused on a YouTube video was on money and we are going to try and alternate between money and time videos unless there is a connection between the two (there always is, but sometimes it is not as obvious and straightforward to explain). This next video comes from David Allen of Getting Things Done fame. The Getting Things Done (GTD for short) method is a system for you to give your brain a rest from having to remember everything you want to remember and all of the things/tasks you need to do. As David likes to say, “Your mind is for having ideas, not holding them.”
One of the most common productivity traps and money for that matter is that if you just had more of it, it would solve all of your problems. Now in same cases this may be true, but at the same time you need to build your knowledge/skills/planning to get to that level. If you are not managing your time or money well right now, getting more of it will not make you instantly better or happier. In fact it most likely will cause you to waste more or be under more stress. Constraints are not a bad thing so instead of looking at your schedule or budget as restricting, look at it as freeing. Think to yourself “My schedule shows me my priorities and where my time goes.” “My budget tells me what my basic necessities, my savings goals, and what my fun money is.”
In terms of what David Allen is talking about in this short video is that the reason more time will not solve our problems is because we already have enough time now, it just needs to be used better. What happens to most of us is we are always busy and always on to the next thing. We do not take enough time to review, plan, and prepare. By investing 15 minutes to do those things, it might make the task go much smoother and take less time than if none of that prep-work was done. If reacting to a situation lets say takes 1 hour because of not being prepared and having to search/find the information, whereas spending 15 minutes preparing, and then 15-30 minutes actually doing, even at the worst case you just saved 15 minutes and made the task less stressful! It is a win win overall. This is a very rough example, but hopefully you get the concept.
Distraction is something else that takes you away from being present and this is one of the biggest reasons to get motivated about being productive and taking control of your money. If you are constantly thinking or are worried about tasks that need to be done, your mind will never have the space to get to that higher level of thinking and planning. It is the same with money stress. If an emergency happens and you do not have the funds to cover it, instead of addressing the situation and thinking of the possible choices, your mind is more worried about how you are going to pay for this and how this will affect other bills which then in turn cause even more stress. Your options for choices are less when you are in debt, have no savings, or do not have a budget. Your ability to have a clear mind, plan for the future, and be creative are less when you distracted.
Our summary of this video and what David Allen is trying to say is this…do not always be in go mode. Take time to review, plan, and clear your mind. You will find that by taking that extra time, even though it may feel counter-intuitive, will actually give you more time back in the long run. When your mind is clear to think, to handle, and react to things proactively compared to re-actively, it is a breakthrough that will give you back more of your time, relieve stress, and make you able to be more present.