I want to introduce you to a new way of thinking.
It’s a way I’ve found to learn more… do more… feel better… and maximize the time you have. All it requires is a small shift in mindset.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the average baby born in 2018 can expect to reach 78 years of age. That’s roughly 28,500 days for him to learn everything he’s ever going to learn… do everything he’s ever going to do… and hopefully leave the world better than how he found it.
Is it enough? Depending on how you look at things, 28,500 days may seem like a generous amount of time… or it’s far too little. As a physician with two decades of clinical experience, I’ve heard arguments on both sides.
But no matter which camp you’re in, I think you’ll agree that our time here is precious. It should never be taken for granted or wasted.
I don’t care if you’re in your 50s, 60s, 70s or beyond. It’s never too late to use the idea I lay out below to get more out of life.
I know. I’ve experienced it myself.
Let me show you.
A Simple (Life-Changing) Formula
Given my background, you might think that I’d be basing my claims on some obscure medical text. But even after years of training and professional practice as a doctor, it’s actually my business background that shapes how I think about time.
You’re likely familiar with the concept of return on investment, or ROI. It was a recurring theme in my MBA program. But it’s also a simple idea that most folks – even nonbusiness types – have employed at one time or another.
In the financial world, ROI simply quantifies what you get in exchange for the money you spend. Written as a formula, it looks like this:
|Gain From Investment – Cost of Investment
Cost of Investment
So if you bought a $5 stock and sold it for $7, that’s a 40% ROI. It’s elementary stuff.
Seeking a strong ROI for your money is a no-brainer. But it’s also a useful way to think about your life and your health.
Throughout your day, I encourage you to stop and ask yourself, “What am I getting out of this activity?” Or, more importantly, “Is this good for me?”
Let the answer be your guide. If you’re not getting a positive “return” on your time and effort – if you’re not learning or growing in some meaningful way – then you should probably move on to something else.
For instance, when I was writing my first book, I had to take time away from my other work duties and responsibilities – things that would have paid me directly and immediately. But I knew that having a book to my name would open up all sorts of new opportunities (and it has).
A shorter-term example would be taking a work break to walk or run for 30 minutes. I’ve found that, even though it may seem like I’m losing time and money by stepping away, in reality, I gain it back – and then some – with a recharged brain that works more efficiently and produces a higher quality of work.
The important thing is to conduct these audits often as you move through your day. Make it a habit. It won’t take long for you to realize where your time is best spent… and where it’s totally wasted.
The Key to Optimal Living
It may seem cold to consider your life in business terms. But think… What is time, really? Is it not the most precious resource any of us can possess? Do we not exchange it – like currency – for the things most important to us?
Go ahead. Take a moment and consider everything you accomplished yesterday. Did you move closer to achieving any long-standing goals? Are you richer? Healthier? Happier?
Realize that no matter how you answered, the fact remains: Yesterday, you “spent” 24 hours. Hopefully you’re pleased with what you got in return because there won’t be any refunds.
I focused tightly on this idea in my best-selling book, Optimal Living 360. Throughout its pages, I apply the concept of ROI to many important areas, including health, relationships and even spirituality.
The idea has been crucial for me personally. As an author, father and physician, I must constantly make hard decisions about how to ration my time. To ensure that in every moment I’m doing what’s best for my family, for my patients and for me, I focus tightly on ROI.
I’m convinced it’s been a key ingredient in my success. I hope you’ll apply the concept to your life and prosper as well.
Whether you’re young or old, there’s no time like the present to maximize your ROI – to make the most of your time and enjoy the years you have.
Dr. Sanjay Jain, MD, MBA
P.S. If you want to read more about my approach to life and health, you can find details in my book. Here’s a link.