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Max Living  


Time, Money, & Opportunity Cost  

Posted: 21 Mar 2010 05:00 AM PDT

The two most fundamental commodities everyone has are time and money.

Interestingly, very rarely do we have them both at the same time. Usually we have a lot of time and no money, or a lot of money and no time.  

The key is to optimize the balance between the two.  

And how do we do that? The most important thing is to take time for introspection.

Opportunity Cost
In terms of time, opportunity cost is everything you could have done had you taken a different action than what you actually did. Every minute you spend is laden with opportunity cost.

For example, if you choose to spend two hours in a meeting, that comes at the cost of spending time with your children, playing, responding to email, whatever.

Now, in actuality that meeting may be the most important thing you should be doing at that time, but understand that there's always a cost.

Planning & Opportunity Cost
This is why personal planning and introspection are so critical. They help you identify what matters most so that you can limit the potential downside of opportunity cost.

We all have time for planning and introspection time. Why don't we do it?

Why won't I take 10 to 15 minutes every day to plan my day? What am I afraid of? Is it easier to always be reactive? Am I afraid of failure? Am I afraid of success? Am I afraid to see who I really am? Or is it just that life is so dang busy it's not on my scope?  

What keeps us from looking inside?

Ironically, it is precisely opportunity cost that keeps many people from taking the time to plan and introspect. They choose not to take the time because they're afraid they'll miss out on opportunities.

Understand this: The best way to balance the commodities of time and money and to limit lost opportunity costs is to take time to reflect.

If you're not choosing how to spend your time, other people are. And when other people and external circumstances dictate your life, you'll never get to where you want to go.

Dana Cappelletti
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