Make the Most of Time and Achieve More

Most of TimeTime is finite. Yet for some people, like Jack Dorsey who runs 2 multi billion companies, it almost feels like they are breaking the 168 hour limit that’s set for everyone. He fully takes advantage of the seconds and minutes he’s given. It’s the biggest kind of waste when you don’t take full advantage of the time you have. Making the most of time that you are given is important to reaching financial independence.

Whether it’s taking on a second job to make a little extra money, picking up a book that teaches you how to influence others, or maximizing your relaxation time to recharge, time is something that you can’t afford to waste. Allocating your time to the highest utility generating areas with the same amount of effort puts you up for success. The key is to not necessarily focus on the ones that give extra utility, but the ones that give you the highest joy.

Highest Utility Generating Area

What do I mean by allocating your time that gives the largest joy? For example, sitting in the couch and watching TV might give you 5 points worth of utility but laying in bed and meditating could give you 10 points of utility. There isn’t an extra amount of effort that goes into laying in bed as opposed to sitting down on the couch, but it cleans the clutter that’s in your mind and allows you to live a healthier life.

The answer to maximizing your utility while keeping your effort level the same isn’t common. It’s up to you to figure out what’s worth the most to you and spend your time accordingly. In terms of personal finance, a second job that you might take on could pay less per hour than your current job. Therefore, you must choose whether the extra benefit of the second paycheck is worth the extra effort and whether the extra cash gives you the most benefit.

For me, I would take on one more job but that would take time away from my blog and social life. That doesn’t maximize what I want, so I’m refraining from taking the plunge. I might change my mind but as of right now, that is where I stand. By making the most of time, you will be able to have more hours in the day to allocate to other stuff that you want to do. We are all given 168 hours in the week. What’s different is how we spend our time.  

A Common Regret

A common regret that I hear often coming out of the week is that they should have been more productive during the weekends. They regret that they didn’t make the most of time. What they mean by productive is that they should have done something that betters their lives. That is the thing. Do NOT focus on looking to be more productive.

Focus on looking to do things that you want to do. I used to think that I should be doing something meaningful and used my time to pursue projects that weren’t giving me joy. This actually decreased my productivity.

I felt bad when I wouldn’t spend any time reading books or developing personally. So this spiraled into more productivity lost because I focused my energy on feeling bad. Then that feeling snowballed. Then I realized that I was only looking for the marginal benefit of productivity, not the highest benefit.

I didn’t look for books on financial markets, something I’m passionate about, but for books on science and history. I looked to join organizations that didn’t interest me but wanted to be in a leadership role anyway to boost my resume. Targeting my interests and thinking things through before making a decision to spend my time onto an activity is what I should have done.

3 Tips to Make the Most of Time

#1. Figure Out Your Passion

It takes a little bit of time to sit down and figure out what you enjoy most doing. I love learning new things and look for topics that I want to learn more about that will give me an edge. That’s why I read personal finance blogs daily plus I’m doing a little bit of extra reading throughout the week. It took me 4 years to figure out that’s what gives me the highest value. Better late than never right?

#2. Pursue that Passion

I’m a big fan of following the money when it comes to finding a job for your income. I recommend pursuing a job that pays the bills because it’s just for 40 hours out of the week. You have the other 128 hours to do everything and anything else that you want to pursue. I see it as someone giving you financial security for only committing 24% of your time while you are free to pursue your passion for the other 76%. Sleep counts as passion!

I am passionate about learning human psychology and this blog, so I spend close to 20 – 30 hours a week reading about psychology and working on this blog. I don’t see it as work because it’s something I want to do and I never seem to count the hours while doing these projects. 

#3. Make it a Habit 

Even if it’s your passion, it’s hard to suddenly get used to the new schedule that you’ve set. Adding in an extra thing on the daily or weekly to-do list disrupts your rhythm. The key is to do it in small steps. You add in the extra activity once in the week. Then twice in the second week. So on, and so on. After time is put into the equation, you will be able to get used to it. This is exactly the same if you want to save more. You save $20 one week. Then $30 the next week. So on, and so on. 


Making the most of time allows you to have a better life, financially or personally. Maximizing your time will lead to you having more time to spend than you had before. If you are more efficient with your time, you are almost breaking the 168 hour limit in a given week that’s set for everyone. Time is a finite resource. Once the second passes, you can never get it back. Since that’s the case, why not try to maximize it in the moment? You won’t have any regrets by doing so. 

Taking time to figure out how you want to spend that time is just as important as implementing steps to make it a habit. With small improvements every week, it’s sure to add up to be a big improvement by the end of the month! 

Readers, what are you doing to make the most of time? Do you feel like you are spending time well? Let me know in the comments below!

Finance Solver

I grew my net worth to $40,000 as a college student through hard work, discipline, and a little bit of luck. I graduated college in 2016 and will be starting to plan for my retirement once I start working.I am planning on reaching financial independence by my early 30's and I will document my moments of inspiration all the way to desperation here.

My goal is to enable your success in personal finance so that you can realize the American dream. The first step is starting today!

Read more about me here.

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17 thoughts on “Make the Most of Time and Achieve More

  1. I really enjoyed and agree with your point about the weekend. Some people just want to go crazy and do TONS of stuff – but resting and recharging your batteries can be just a fulfilling & useful, it just depends on how you use your time!

    If we’re constantly in a ‘I have to do more, I have to learn all the time etc’ then that’s going to put you in a very stressful mind space.


    • Finance Solver says:

      It really does! I’ve been adding meditation to my routines. It clears up my mind and gives me the recharge I need to go through about my day, even though I only invest 5 minutes a day into it. It’s worked wonders!

      Yep, I have to take a break and make sure that I can recharge. That’s why I will always try to never sacrifice sleep. I enjoy sleeping way too much and I may do too much of it, but no regrets!

  2. I don’t get how CEOs do it. It’s good money, but I don’t want to be married to a company when I go home.

    Good insight on the weekend. I’m a workaholic in many aspects and working on trying to take a “Sabbath.” It’s tough. I normally spend 1 day not doing anything work-related, but do house stuff instead. I go crazy just sitting for most the day, even while on vacation.

    • Finance Solver says:

      That’s why I am so committed to reaching financial independence, it would be so hard to think about work if I am semi-retired or have a lot of FU cash reserves.

      I’m glad that I have chores set up in my weekly to-do list. Otherwise, I can’t concentrate and work will start to get annoying. That’s why I try to take at least a day or two off from blogging and get right back at it the next day because I feel a little guilty sometimes when I step out!

  3. When I look back at my career, especially the last 17 years at Intel, passion is the only thing that kept me going. I have seen many engineers quit their jobs within the first year or two of their careers/jobs because they didn’t have the passion or motivation to work hard and long hours to be successful. In my opinion, passion will keep you moving forward through failures and challenges till you find success. My advice to young people is to not go into a career unless they have passion for what they do as there is nothing more miserable about a job than to be stuck in it just for money.

    • Finance Solver says:

      Passion is the only thing that’s making me go with this blog. If I didn’t have passion about personal finance and helping readers, I don’t think I would spend 15 – 30 hours extra a week working on this blog. I’m enjoying learning so much and met so many amazing people that I never thought that I could meet.

      I don’t look for passion with my job though. It’s only 40 hours that gives me financial security and ability to use the other 128 hours to do whatever I want with my time. I’m going to try and follow the money when it comes to job and will pursue my passion in my free time. For me personally, as long as the job gives neutral benefit and not a detrimental benefit, I don’t mind the job.

  4. I am assuming your job is not within your passion area i.e. finance?

    For me, after college, the job and career were always tied together and it was like a marriage. A marriage without love is doomed to fall apart.

    Though, I understand what you are saying. If you can’t find a job within your area of passion then you need to keep that passion alive outside the job. If you keep at it, one day your passion may allow you to get free from that job.

    • Finance Solver says:

      It is in finance, but I’ve worked so many jobs in the past where it was not my passion (I worked as a minimum paying job teller, I worked in the gym, I was a telemarketer and stuck it out for 1.5 years, brutal job). I wasn’t passionate in any of these jobs and when it was a detriment, like the telemarketing job, I resigned because I hated it. I learned to make sure that the job I’m in isn’t something that I hate, not necessarily something that I’m passionate about, to at least stay in the neutral zone for when I work.
      That’s the dream! It’s hard to find passion, at least it is for me, that’s why I try to be so committed to this blog, finance is something I adore.

      • Most people have to do minimal jobs that are just simply jobs when starting out or especially when in college. In college, I worked as a dishwasher, janitor, computer lab assistant, ground keeper, building maintenance guy, and usher. I even did telemarketing once for the college foundation and hated it. None of those jobs were my passion, they were just means to pay the bills while I can go to college and major in what I loved and build a career.

        The point is what you are going through is just a normal struggle that most people go through. What confuses me about your statements is that you say that you have passion for finance and that’s what you are studying in college and want to blog about but you treat your current finance job as just a 40-hr job for paying bills.

        Sorry if I am getting this all wrong but it sounds as you only have passion for blogging and not finance.

        • Finance Solver says:

          No need to apologize, if I seem inconsistent with what I say or if I should clarify further on a topic, I would definitely encourage my readers to tell me about it! It gives less chance of miscommunication happening. I like the interaction aspect of it, too.

          I DID study finance in college and am blogging about it. I’m not saying passion is absent in my job. I love my job. I am saying that when I’m looking for a job, passion is not something that tips whether I say yes or not. I look for 1) is it ethical? 2) can it cover my bills? 3) Can I add value (in other words, can I be good at it?). For example, I am absolutely passionate about tennis, played it all throughout high school and joined a tennis club in college (played it for about 10 years, including elementary). But I’m not going to go be a professional tennis player because I wouldn’t be able to compete well in it to make a living. I had the most passion out of everything for tennis but consciously chose not to take it as a job. I would barely get by at this point with no surplus, no chance of FIRE, and desperately looking for change to buy food with. Passion is great, but sometimes it doesn’t pay the bills, give me a chance at FIRE, or accumulate enough to give back to people who’ve helped me out.

          I’m blogging ABOUT finance, if I don’t have a passion for finance, I would not be blogging about it. It’s the only thing that’s allowing me to go on (as you’ve alluded to above with your job at Intel), working hours on it after work and on weekends. I would not be able to blog about traveling cause it’s not my passion (hopefully that changes!).

          Am I making sense? Let me know if there’s other potential areas of miscommunication.

          • Yes makes sense and Thank You for clarifying. Now I have a better picture of what you are trying to do.

            I can see you are an excellent blogger and write with passion. So, I am sure you will do well. Keep blogging with passion and I will keep reading your blog (maybe now and then ask you a finance question) 🙂

          • Finance Solver says:

            Thank you for the kind words Mr. ATM! I’m trying to add value to my readers and hopefully I am. Just have to try my best and try to forget the rest (copied from Tony Horton). Thanks for following along! I’ll be following your blog as well 🙂

  5. What is the 168 hours relating to ? 🙂

    I think even writing down the things that you enjoy doing can be really helpful. Even the smallest little things – like for example I enjoy taking 5 minutes to sit down and drink a cup of tea. I have a crazy busy life so taking a little bit of time to myself to just stop really helps me.

    It feels like every single second of my time is productive! I usually have my daughter at home all day (she’s just started school last week though!), work in the evening and I am at Uni part time. And I work on this blog. Oh and I play hockey. Ha! To do lists and organisation are the best ways to stay productive.

    • Finance Solver says:

      168 hours is relating to the 168 hours per week that we get! The wording is a little bit confusing, I changed it a little bit thanks for the question Francesca 🙂

      Yes! It’s exactly like budgeting. If I can’t see where my time is going, I’ll be sure to lose it without any thought. Sometimes I fail with this because I forget to write down what I want to achieve the next day but try to practice it often.

      Whoa that is fantastic!! I can’t imagine having to take courses on top of my full time job and the blog PLUS having a daughter. You’re living a very productive life that I respect a lot 🙂

  6. Great article.

    Time is the one thing that we can’t buy more of. I love your example of the utility of time. Watching the show Shark Tank, Mark Cuban talks about the lack of time in his day when he decides whether to invest in a company.

    When I was younger I had all the time in the world. Now that I have a child, full-time job and side-hustle with a blog I wish I could clone myself to be everywhere at the same time.

  7. Finance Solver says:

    Thank you! I love the show Shark Tank. Mark Cuban inspired me so much to have a great work ethic as he did and to be selective in things where he’s investing his time into. I don’t understand how some people hate him.

    I have minimal responsibilities right now but I can’t imagine having a child to take care of. That’s a beautiful thing that you’re trying to accomplish and hoping for the best with your blog and everything! I know I’ll be following 🙂

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