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Money or time, Which is More Important?

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Money or time, Which is More Important?

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Money or time? It’s pleasing to both senses and aesthetics when you can choose between a peppermint mocha and pumpkin spice latte. There’s subtle creativity in the freedom to pick what you wear to work, the gym, or a night on the town. We find community when we decide which people make us feel at home.

Most of us like options, the ability to pick and choose our preferences. However, in the financial world, there’s only one option we like: money (steady, ample money) that allows us the time and space to pursue hobbies and passions and buy luxury items.

It’s a lofty but dreamy goal to earn the big bucks that allow you to never spend more time in an office than you want. It’s natural to wish you could plant a money tree in your front yard and reap its paper bounty each spring. In short, we want lots of money and free time to use the money as we wish.

I hate to burst your bubble, but you can’t have both. You must choose money or time. Now, I’m not cueing any panic alarms or squashing your dreams. I’m only saying that in the modern day, money is produced when we put in the time and effort to earn it. You don’t get one without sacrificing the other.

But take heart! If you feel flustered, overwhelmed, or mentally wrecked, you’re in good company. I’ve been there too.

When I first completed my undergrad degree, I made $25,000 a year, which, for my personal goals, wasn’t enough. Six years later, I have tripled my income and found a healthy rhythm in everyday life. It took some time, but I realised that in order to reach my big goals, I must choose money or time.

Once you understand your values, they will dictate your priorities. Once you understand your priorities, you will discover which you should value most: money or time.

What Are My Values?

While I can’t offer a short, surface-level definition of your values, I can provide you with a few questions to consider:

    • When you first wake up, which thoughts motivate you to start the day?
    • When you feel stuck in a rut, where does your mind drift?
    • What does your life look like in five years?
    • Who inspires you?
    • Which activities do you gladly make room for?
    • Which activities make you heave a sigh of relief when they are canceled?
    • Who do you live for?

I encourage you to write out the answers to each of these questions. You’ll begin to see an overlap in answers. For example, when I first wake up, I’m motivated to check Amazon to see how well my recent book is performing. When I feel stuck in a rut, my mind drifts to new book ideas. In five years, I aim to be a full-time author. In short, I value writing books.

Once you answer the questions above and see how your answers overlap, write out your top value.

Do I Choose Money or Time?

After answering the questions, did you notice you tend to place more emphasis on money? What about time? Regardless of which you typically favour, to maximise your top value, you must decide if money or time is the necessary priority.

The answer to this question can feel much like a grey area. However, with experience aiding hindsight, I’ll offer my personal journey:

I value writing books, which doesn’t require much money. So long as I have a dependable laptop, I am free to maximise my writing goals. This means I don’t need tons of money to pursue what I love, but I need loads of time to brainstorm, draft, edit, and submit book proposals to literary agents and publishers.

I must sacrifice money(and all the fancy coffees it would provide)so I have time to work on my writing craft.

Perhaps you long to be a senior partner at an international law firm. This requires lots of schooling and long nights of sifting through case files. You give up the free time that others use to go out to dinner, visit the theatre, or take a daycation to the beach. However, once you become a senior partner, you get the big money!

In a world that wants to have its cake and eat it too, we must accept the reality that we can’t have it both ways. We must determine our top value and choose to pursue money or time as the means to help us maximise our passion. Then, we will be free to work within this understanding to reach our full potential.

Money or time. Which one do you value most? Share with a comment and don’t forget to react to this post with an emoji!

 Peyton Garland

Peyton Garland

Guest Writing Coach

Peyton Garland is a writer, wanna-be rapper, and coffee shop hopper who loves connecting people to a grace much bigger than expected. Her debut book, Not So by Myself, was promoted by Former White House Press Secretary Dana Perino and endorsed by TED Talk speaker and creator of the More Love Letters movement, Hannah Brencher. You can connect with Peyton via social media or her website.

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