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The Scarcity Fallacy

Ever feel you don’t have enough time? Not enough money?

I’m sure it is a familiar thought. There are lots of things I would like to do “if only I had the time”. I wish I could afford … lots of things.

Thinking about this though I have found there is often enough time to do many of the things we dismiss with this claim. Rather than time being the problem, as usual, the problem is with us. Or rather, our sense of priorities.

Some people do have terrible money problems, I am deeply grateful I am not one of them. Most of us who complain about lack of funds have the same problem with money as we do with time. Our problem is how we spend it.

We would rather watch television. Drink beer. Take a fourth smoke break. Have that extra fifteen minute “snooze” period with our morning alarm. Use the full hour for lunch, and eat all the trimmings.

This post isn’t one of those “tighten your belt, swear off the Starbucks” things. I believe it is important to enjoy your time and your money. After all if you don’t, what is the point?

No, my point is if you spend your time slightly differently you might fix both your time and your money issues. Set a budget for your money and your time. Spend both a little smarter. Invest your time in activities that will return dividends.

Take this example. A forum poster said they would blog if only for the time issue. This was my reply

Yes, it does take time. Think about this though, each post I publish on my blog is a busy little worker. It’s like recruiting a new member of staff who will diligently market my site 24/7 for no pay. He will continue to work for me for years to come, attracting new readers, perhaps advertising clicks, maybe selling my products. My best articles more than pay back the time spent over and over, for years. One article brought me 11,039 NEW visitors in a single day. Not “hits”, visitors. That article is not going anywhere, it will continue to earn its keep, growing in value each time it is referenced.

Every article I write is like another $10 in my daughters high interest savings account, an investment that will add to the compound returns of the whole and grow exponentially in long term value …

At some point this blog will pay off. When it does I will be glad I put the time into writing rather than going down the pub.

I started writing this post at 15:37. It is now 15:51. Nearly finished this post then I will answer some comments and emails. Not a great deal of time to spend communicating with my blog readers. Could you find fifteen to twenty minutes a day to invest in your blog?

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Comments

  1. Funny, was thinking about this today…

    One of the problems people have is that they don’t sit back, take a look at the long-term picture, and then decide accordingly. It’s hard to do when you’re short of money but hey, speaking as a person who has seen both sides of the fence I can tell you that planning and smart work pays off much more than heavy multitasking, overloading and sheer hard work.

    The second problem is the inability to change – something you talked about as well. Instead of looking at our past and reviewing what went wrong, we continue in the same patterns. If those patterns haven’t help us become rich in the last 5 years, they aren’t going to help now.

  2. Funny, was thinking about this today…

    One of the problems people have is that they don’t sit back, take a look at the long-term picture, and then decide accordingly. It’s hard to do when you’re short of money but hey, speaking as a person who has seen both sides of the fence I can tell you that planning and smart work pays off much more than heavy multitasking, overloading and sheer hard work.

    The second problem is the inability to change – something you talked about as well. Instead of looking at our past and reviewing what went wrong, we continue in the same patterns. If those patterns haven’t help us become rich in the last 5 years, they aren’t going to help now.

  3. Was it Einstein said

    Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results

  4. Was it Einstein said

    Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results

  5. great post, and dugg

    just a head up, your digg button thinks these are two different stories

    Visitor arrives here from homepage (showing 0 diggs):
    http://www.chrisg.com/the-scarcity-fallacy/#comments

    Visitor arrives here from rss feed (shows 3 diggs):
    http://www.chrisg.com/the-scarcity-fallacy/

  6. great post, and dugg

    just a head up, your digg button thinks these are two different stories

    Visitor arrives here from homepage (showing 0 diggs):
    http://www.chrisg.com/the-scarcity-fallacy/#comments

    Visitor arrives here from rss feed (shows 3 diggs):
    http://www.chrisg.com/the-scarcity-fallacy/

  7. Thanks Mark, I will see if I can strip the #comments from the Digg url somehow

  8. Thanks Mark, I will see if I can strip the #comments from the Digg url somehow

  9. Great post, Chris. I agree as well… it’s an investment.

  10. Great post, Chris. I agree as well… it’s an investment.

  11. Wonderful post Chris! You hit the nail, bang on.

  12. Wonderful post Chris! You hit the nail, bang on.

  13. Excellent post Chris. I have had problems recently with the scarcity mentality, but I have been getting better about it.

    The timing of your post was excellent for me. Keep up the great writing.

  14. Excellent post Chris. I have had problems recently with the scarcity mentality, but I have been getting better about it.

    The timing of your post was excellent for me. Keep up the great writing.

  15. Thanks guys, it’s something I have to remind myself of too from time to time

  16. Thanks guys, it’s something I have to remind myself of too from time to time

  17. Great article and you are completely right.

    For college I had to keep track of one day of my life, I wrote down everything that I did that day and the time spent on each thing. Like you said most people could have a lot more time to accomplish things if they only knew how much time they wasted. After that project I had to do I became a lot more sensitive about how I spent my time. It is somethhing everyone should do at least once.

    And btw… do you really save your earnings from your blog for your daughter? If so that is very admirable in my eyes:)

  18. Great article and you are completely right.

    For college I had to keep track of one day of my life, I wrote down everything that I did that day and the time spent on each thing. Like you said most people could have a lot more time to accomplish things if they only knew how much time they wasted. After that project I had to do I became a lot more sensitive about how I spent my time. It is somethhing everyone should do at least once.

    And btw… do you really save your earnings from your blog for your daughter? If so that is very admirable in my eyes:)

  19. I have a few blogs and put the income to various purposes (not all altruistic, one of them pays for my digital photography addiction!), I think though if you blog with the intention of investing for your kids you will never slack off (unless it is to spend time with them). This blog is not monetised yet but I am hoping when it does start earning money the income will pay more than a bank account deposit a month 🙂

  20. I have a few blogs and put the income to various purposes (not all altruistic, one of them pays for my digital photography addiction!), I think though if you blog with the intention of investing for your kids you will never slack off (unless it is to spend time with them). This blog is not monetised yet but I am hoping when it does start earning money the income will pay more than a bank account deposit a month 🙂

  21. I am one of those types that had to learn the hard way by enduldging a bit to much on time in the pub and “snoozing” a little to late in the morning. I have big dreams and the ability to work hard I think that is what saved me couch potato land.

    New to blogging and I am understanding that creativity and hardwork get you there.

  22. I am one of those types that had to learn the hard way by enduldging a bit to much on time in the pub and “snoozing” a little to late in the morning. I have big dreams and the ability to work hard I think that is what saved me couch potato land.

    New to blogging and I am understanding that creativity and hardwork get you there.

  23. Whoa, that’s an excellent post right there. Thanks for this. The concept of the post going off and working 24/7 for no pay is knockout.

  24. Whoa, that’s an excellent post right there. Thanks for this. The concept of the post going off and working 24/7 for no pay is knockout.