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The third and final principle that you should live in order to master your time deals with how you view time itself. In particular, avoid paying interest on your time. What do I mean when I say "interest on time?" Well, perhaps you've heard the phrase, "time is money." I don't know if time always is money, but time certainly behaves like money, because it's a scarce resource. Many people have experienced firsthand the negative consequences of going into debt with money.
The number one consequence of going into debt with money is that you have to repay it with interest. In other words, when you buy something on credit, rather than budgeting for it and paying cash all upfront, you end up paying much more in the long run. Would you be surprised if I told you that you can borrow time? In fact, I would guess that most people are borrowing time every single day. Now, I'm not saying that you can magically get 25 hours in a day, because you can't. But you can borrow from one activity to pay something else.
For example, you can borrow from sleep to pay work, you can borrow from work to pay a hobby, you can borrow from your family time to pay work. And what is the consequence of all that borrowing? Well, you always have to repay the time with interest, and time demands a brutal interest rate. I'll give you a very simple example. Let's say that you repeatedly borrowed time from sleep to pay work, that you're sleeping less than your body requires.
Well, if you continue to do that, you'll end up spending more time recovering, being tired and sluggish, and you'll be less productive. Continually do this over a long period of time, and studies have shown that you'll also have an impact on other aspects of your health, which will really cost you a lot of time. The key to living this principle of avoiding paying interest on time is to live within your means, live within a time budget and never overspend.
In fact, begin the habit of under-spending time. The average person tries to cram 65 minutes worth of activity into a 60-minute hour or 25 hours worth of activity into a 24-hour day. Instead of getting more done by doing that, they get less done, because they're retracing their steps. They end up repaying interest on borrowed time. So just as happiness comes from spending $1 less than what you make, and misery comes from spending $1 more, so also does happiness come from spending five minutes less than what you have, and misery comes from attempting to spend five minutes more than you have.
Later in the course, I'll show you the specific steps that you can take to begin living within your means and living within a time budget. By doing that you'll actually get more done, you'll have less stress, and ironically, you'll have more time. For now, just remember this principle: avoid paying interest on time.
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