This article is originally published on Democrat & Chronicle.
As I sit down and review my notebook from 2016, a page caught my eye. It was a talk given by a billionaire, I circled one of many things he said “Time is a luxury.”
I didn’t quite get it at the moment.
In early 2016, I attended every event I was invited to. Not that I was super into assorted cheese and bread, but I was so eager to make progress in my freelancing business that I couldn’t miss an opportunity.
But as the year progressed, I had more and more on my plate, my to-do list got longer and longer each day. I simply didn’t have the time and energy to do everything.
I barely had time for myself. All of sudden, time is a luxury.
But I didn’t want to say no to anything. What if I miss an amazing opportunity?
I was being pulled into too many directions, it was exhausting.
Unlearned lesson: Say yes to everything
One day, I came across a talk given by Charlie Munger at USC Business School in 1994. (For those of you who aren’t familiar with Charlie Munger, he is Warren Buffett’s right-hand man and investment partner at Berkshire Hathaway.)
Charlie Munger shared the "20-slot" rule applied by Warren Buffet.
Warren Buffet once told his listeners "I could improve your ultimate financial welfare by giving you a ticket with only 20 slots in it so that you had 20 punches — representing all the investments that you got to make in a lifetime. And once you'd punched through the card, you couldn't make any more investments at all."
Because the constraints of the "20-slot" rule, people are forced to "load up on what you'd really thought about." (You can find Charlie Munger’s whole talk here. )
To me, it was the answer I was looking for: I can’t or shouldn’t say yes to everything, I need to be selective.
The 20 slots
If you apply the “20-slot” rule to other areas of your life, where and whom you’d invest your time and energy?
My point is: Think carefully about where and whom you invest your time in. Be selective. And don’t waste your next slot.