How to Manage Time by Thinking Like an Investor

Knowing how to manage time is essential for your personal effectiveness. While there are many approaches to time management, here I’d like to focus on just one key mindset that I believe you should have: an investor’s mindset.

Many people invest in financial instruments. I do, and most likely you do too. It’s common to think like an investor when it comes to money. But that’s not the case with time. I believe, however, that the principle of investing is equally applicable to time.

Time is like money. You can invest it and reap rewards in the future. You can also spend it carelessly and go “broke.” What makes the difference is the way you use your time. It can make or break your life.

The fact is that your time is a limited resource that’s even more limited than money. You can increase your savings so that you have more money to invest. But no matter what you do, you can only have 24 hours a day. So it’s important that you use your time wisely.

The Benefits of Thinking Like an Investor

Thinking like an investor helps you use your time wisely. Here are several benefits of having an investor’s mindset about your time:

  • You will be careful not to waste your time
    A good investor always tries to cut wasteful expenses and avoid losing money. One of Warren Buffett’s investing rules, for instance, is “don’t lose money.” Applied to time, it means “don’t waste your time.”
  • You will want to maximize your return
    When you think like an investor, you will want to maximize your return. With time, it means that you will want to get the most out of your time. You will do things that will give you the best results.
  • You will be willing to wait
    If you invest $1000 today, you wouldn’t expect to earn a profit today. You know that it takes time for the investment to grow. Similarly, when you invest your time, you know that it will take time to get results. You will be willing to wait and not hurried.
  • The results could be exponential
    Thanks to compounding interest, a small money investment today could yield exponential return years from now. Similarly, you might invest your time on something that seems small today. But if you keep at it, the return could be huge years from now.

Ways to Invest Your Time

Now that we have seen the benefits, how should we invest our time? Here are some ideas.

1. Find your strengths and causes

This, in my opinion, is the starting point. Just like different investors have different financial instruments that match their profiles, so do different people have different ways to invest their time. What is right for others isn’t necessarily right for you. It all goes back to your strengths and causes. What are your personal strengths? What are the causes that matter to you? Investing your time in the intersection between your strengths and causes will give you the best results.

2. Read good books

Reading good books can widen your perspective and help you see the world in a new way. In turn, this widened perspective can help you use your time better. It has happened to me many times, which is why I consider reading books essential for my personal growth.

3. Build other people’s lives

Building other people’s lives can multiply your impact. If you transfer your values to some people, and they in turn transfer them to others, imagine how the overall impact would be. To build other people’s lives, you can do mentoring, writing, or other ways that fit you.

4. Think and reflect

Being busy could get you lost in the details of life. You might no longer be able to see the big picture. That’s why it’s essential to have time to think and reflect. It could be in the form of prayer, meditation, weekly review, or whatever it is that works for you. The goal here is to get clarity about the overall direction of your life.

5. Build time assets

A good way to invest your time is to build time assets. Time assets are things on which you spend time today so that you can save time in the future. Some of the ways to build time assets are outsourcing, making checklists, and creating a productivity system.


With all these in mind, here is a question you should ask yourself daily:

How should I invest my time today?

Give a thoughtful answer to the question and apply it. You will reap the rewards.


  1. I always enjoy reading your articles 🙂

  2. I agree that it’s essential to think like an investor. For me, one of the best ways to do this is to identify the non-essential (i.e.: non-important) things that suck up my time. For me, and I think for most people, email tops that list.
    I am now training myself to check email only three times per day. This allows me to control my time better while still remaining available for clients.
    I think everyone should ask themselves: How much of my life is being controlled by my computer? Am I really doing what’s IMPORTANT to me?

  3. Time management is definitely important!
    One thing I don’t do enough is find the time to reflect. I’m definitely a person who craves/needs it, and can just sit there thinking for entire hours; but far too often I just fall into brain dead activities when the work of the day is done. Checking facebook or flicking on the tv is just to tantalizing. I think I need to devise a way of positioning these activities as less of a prize in my mind!

    • I can attest the importance of having “thinking” time. It can give you a better overall perspective of your life. I think knowing its importance can help you prioritize it.

  4. I like reading your article, it learns me a lot. Keep on going God is happy because you inspire other people. God Bless! more power

  5. RaviShankarKota

    Hi Donald,
    I enjoyed reading your articles.They are very nice and giving pleasure to heart.Also they are enlightening in several aspects.
    Thanks for your articles.
    Ravi Shankar

  6. Time is the most precious commodity on earth.
    Realizing what is most important to you will help dictate where and how you spend your time.
    You have one chance to spend the minutes of today. spend wisely.

  7. Hi Donald
    I Really enjoyed reading this article.The points mentioned in the article are very usefull.
    Time is Life….

  8. I enjoyed the article. its inspiring…

  9. One of the best Time Assets I have come across is touch typing. I work in a school and many of the teachers cannot touch type. Yet they have to do a lot of typing in their day to day work.
    I point out to a lot of them that if they learn to touch type they could get through their work a lot quicker. Most reply that that sounds great but they don’t have the time to learn.
    Is it that they don’t have the time to learn? Or do they just not have the desire to get ahead?

  10. In a day, we are blessed with 24 hours. This is the greatest asset we have our hands at. However, we are free to choose if we decide to invest it or spend it. The choice is always in our hands.
    I came across this post a little late, but I am glad I did. Thoroughly enjoyed your concept of thinking as an investor and taking control of the way our time goes into different things everyday.
    Thank you very much. Awesome post!

  11. Interesting and thought provoking post, thanks! I can quite easily waste time when I don’t focus on achieving something in particular…which is a shame. So now I’m practicing my 4 magic ‘c’s for my strengths and causes which are commitment, clarity, calender (set a time to do this) and consistency.

  12. Nice article Mr. Donald.

  13. I couldn’t agree more, and as an entrepreneur I realized time management was one of the most important skills to have!

  14. Having an investor’s mindset is a big gift… Investors are people who maximize profit and minimize loss in case there’s a loss situation … So your blog is really highlighting an important idea… Thank you !

  15. Hi there!
    I think the most important thing to manage time is to keep it organized in small pieces, for example:
    – 1 hr of personal education / skill development
    – 2 hr applying those skills / work on “x”
    – 1 hr lunch time / rest
    – 2 hr tasks to be done / work on “x”
    – 1 hr physical exercise (VERY important)
    – 1 hr hobbie
    and so on and so forth. I find that it is very practical to keep my days organized, and I invest my time properly that way. It even helped me to get up earlier.
    Hope that helps!

  16. Beautiful and informative as usual. Very impressed and inspired simultaneously. It would be very helpful if you kindly write someday in future about the ‘productivity system’ that you mentioned. 🙂 I always use checklists, so I guess the system will be helpful to me.

  17. Very Nice And Informative Post, I Agree With Your First Point That You Should Not Waste Any Time,,

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