Pay yourself first. I think when one first hears this phrase they can take it to mean, be selfish and that’s just not something they are interested in. But investment in yourself need not be at the expense of others and I know I need to remember that investment in others, need not be at the expense of myself.
You can do anything but not everything — David Allen
Every week you have a finite amount of time to spend. Have you audited how you are spending it?
When you are spending your money, you presumably pay things based on a hierarchy of importance. Things that will contribute most to your continued existence are paid first and then the next priority follows and so on go the choices.
But what about your time? Have you thought about how you are budgeting your time? What are you paying first? And does this reflect your actual intentions?
Are you making choices with your time that ensure it is invested in things that will contribute most to your existence first? This could be your health, your family, your friends, your passions; it could be anything. But your priorities should be afforded an appropriate amount of time, not just left with hope that you won’t find yourself short changed at the end of the day when you’re finally ready to pay them some attention.
If you’re wanting to commit to something, time isn’t going to make itself available without your input. You have to pay yourself first, you have to actively find space in your life for it.
So I remind myself to pay myself first, it is a way for me to re-focus. My time is finite and I need to spend it on what’s most important because if I don’t, if I leave those things waiting too long? I could run out of time altogether.
What are you paying first? And second. And third. And fourth. It should all add up to reflect your intentions.