Pay Yourself First

Apple World

Research, workout, or write down your thoughts each morning. Don’t check email, as that’s paying someone else.

Email, while a dominant form of business communication isn’t effective: The more you respond, the more emails you’ll receive. The tool is over burdened for its initial use case. You’re teaching your network you’ll forever be reactive.

I pay myself first. I focus my priorities on the tools that will maximize my time. For example, rather than responding to multiple emails or conversations on one topic, I leverage broadcasting tools, like this very weblog.

This isn’t a new concept, as many financial advisers will suggest that you invest in your future (funds, roth, 401) before fully paying down your debt. In the long run, your compounded growth of investing in larger payoffs will yield a greater nest egg. This same concept applies to how you spend your time, each morning.

Imagine if everyone around us (colleagues, partners, vendors, family) was a little less reactive, and instead invested a bit more growing themselves, perhaps we’d all be better off.

So there you go, resist the instinct to dive into email each morning, instead pay yourself by reading, investing in your wellbeing, or sharing your insights with others. You’ll increase your value by growing, demonstrate to your network you’re not just reactive, and you’ll hopefully feel that you’ve accomplished more.

Ergo, pay yourself first each morning, don’t check email, as that’s paying someone else.

I originally posted elements of this concept a few years ago (and more recently, on Medium), but begs to be resurfaced, as we all need to be reminded of it from time to time.

8 Replies to “Pay Yourself First”

  1. Very good advice Jeremiah. And if morning doesn’t work in your life due to time zones or other reasons, then at least make sure to have dedicated me time. What you pay others will be more valuable for it.

  2. Email is not evil, it depends on how we use it. Sometimes it is very funny that we ourselves do not know how to manage time, but we blame Facebook, Twitter, email, etc.

  3. It’s tough because everyone is keen checking their emails as the first thing in the morning but practising not to do that will give out better results.

  4. I personally couldn’t agree with this more. However, I’m afraid younger generations don’t realize this. I can remember sitting around our family dinner table with my parents, myself at 19, and my younger siblings who were teenagers as well. We weren’t allowed to have our phones while eating, but we could hear them beeping away with incoming text messages, tweets, Facebook notifications, and emails in the other room as we kids squirmed with each noise. Our parents didn’t understand it, but I think that our younger generations have this need to be in constant communication with others, and we even find it offensive when others don’t respond in a timely manner (i.e. within five minutes).

  5. Jeremiah, classic pearls of wisdom – thanks for resurfacing this topic! This principle should be taught in classrooms to the young and reinforced in the boardroom for the mature.

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