The Time Value of Motivation

We often hear the term the “Time value of Money ” whenever we do a new investment. As defined in “The time value of money (TVM) is the concept that -Money you have now is worth more than the identical sum in the future due to its potential earning capacity. This core principle of finance holds that provided money can earn interest, any amount of money is worth more the sooner it is received. ” I often wondered can we understand our motivation in similar terms as Money? This article is a small effort in that direction. It will help you redefine your strategies and the way you operate to achieve your goal. Interested? Read on…

The Concept Simplified!

A bird in hand is worth two in the bush’ – this saying applies to almost all financial transactions today. The money you have in hand right now is worth more than the same amount you ‘may’ get in future. Basically, the time value of money advocates that it is more beneficial to have cash now than later. Say, if you invest a Rs. 1000 today – the returns will be more compared to the same investment done 6 months from now.

Similarly, once you are inspired to do a task at hand, having a sustained motivation till end yields better result than consuming small doses of inspiration here and there. Because getting motivated is easy and does not involve enough discipline. We all were taught in primary school that the shortest distance between two points is a line. Our mind is auto-wired to take the shortest possible route to achieve something we aspired. It’s not our fault. We human beings are made that way.

Who doesn’t love a little bit of motivation everyday?

You want to start your day in the best possible way. Right?

So you do a short exercise stint, eat a healthy breakfast and watch a short motivational video. A perfect recipe to stay inspired the rest of the day. Well, you could have done the above ritual several times but end up getting not much satisfactory results. Why do we lose our motivation during the events of the day? Why do we stay motivated for a brief period of time? I wish I can take the motivation in form of a Pill whenever and wherever I require and just stay pumped up through the day!! We all want this. The main reason motivation fizzle out is that external motivation is temporary: it may wake you up, but it will not keep you awake for long.

If you start valuing your Time like the Money in your wallet, the Time value of Motivation will show its magical impact!

I know its sounds familiar. You would have read this somewhere else too. Value your time, think it’s your money, spend it wisely, etc. But one important aspect that we miss in all these recommendation is how can we execute it?

The formula is simple.!

(Sustained Motivation)= (Focussed Effort) X (Accountable Time)

The missing link is making ourselves accountable for the time we spend on each activity throughout the day. We do all the planning, prioritize activities, but fail to execute it most often as we don’t evaluate our invested time. If it had been a mutual fund or an investment plan, we could have gone nuts if we don’t calculate the ROI.

Similar to an investment plan, we should evaluate the quality of effort we put in. See if you were focussed enough throughout the activity. Can you be a good fund manager and give good ROI to this invested time?

In fact, what you are doing in the process by making yourself accountable for each minute is, you are making sure you do not lose focus the task at hand.

“The reason why one man is great and another man is living in mediocrity is simply because one understood the value of time while the other did not.” ― Sunday Adelaja

A motivated approach of accounting for your time will help you execute your plans better. Even if you fail, you know you have given your best. There is a feeling of satisfaction in the approach you took. This is what makes all the difference. You have subconsciously trained your mind to focus on the job. This Mindfulness along with time accountability will make you hit more and miss less.

Start practicing it for short duration in the beginning. Start with stints of 15 minutes, then increase it gradually by another 15 minutes and so on. Once you reach a habit of accounting for each hour of your work, make sure to take a mandatory break. A break is important aspect to refocus and regain your attention for the next item on list. A burnout is almost certain if we don’t relax in between.

The compounding effect of above approach is what you call the Time value of Motivation ! Similar to the money at present which is of higher value than few years later, your staying motivated for a specific duration of time has a profound effect on the outcome more than what you normally would have achieved.

Happy Learning Folks!

Pravash Chandra