You’ve scheduled time for work, but have you scheduled time for play?

Whenever we think about productivity, we think of it in a professional context: Scheduling work, tasks, calls, focus time, etc. But what about leisure time? Do we spend it productively as our work time? What about attending a cultural event, sightseeing, and social gatherings? Are they scheduled too?

I think productivity and personal finance have a lot in common. They both depend on long-term thinking, personal commitment, and extreme focus. That’s why I want to borrow a personal finance “strategy” to help me explain my message here: the “Pay yourself first” strategy.

In personal finance, “Pay yourself first” means taking a cut from your income, before paying any bills or expenses, and using it for savings and investments. It’s a way of paying your future self, by investing/saving that money.

So why use this strategy in the first place? The reason is simple: If we don’t pay ourselves first, we’ll invest/save from the remaining. And odds are we’ll have nothing left after paying our bills and expenses as our living standards and needs grow with our income.

The same principle applies to productivity. If you don’t schedule your playtime first, you’ll probably jam-pack your schedule with work-related events and forget about your leisure time, family, and personal hobbies.

Next time you’re scheduling your week, think of scheduling these two:

  • Sleep: No work should interfere with your sleep schedule
  • Social: A friend(s) you didn’t see in a while?
  • Cultural: Is there any cultural event in your area worth attending?
  • Fun activities: What about a paintball party?

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