A recent NYT article quotes Nobel Laureate Daniel Kahneman, author of Thinking, Fast and Slow on several of his insightful and well-researched views on how our minds work, particularly in regard to financial matters.
One of those quotes also deals with how we spend our time:
REACTING TO OUTSIDE EVENTS No doubt the euro zone mess, debt problems in the United States and other world calamities are threats to global investing. But such problems often involve too much information to process. Investors need to make decisions one at time, in a manner that corresponds to their own goals. “There’s very little relation to the importance of problems and the time we spend thinking about them,” Professor Kahneman said.
I added the emphasis at the end because it hits on a problem that so many of us have: not spending enough time on the most important matters. Not only are we spending too much time reacting to outside events, we are also spending it on things we want to do instead of things we need to do. (Examples of the latter are spending excessive time on Facebook and Twitter, instead of filing for taxes or spending time preparing for Monday’s all-important meeting.) Or, as Anthony Robbins stated in Awaken The Giant Within:
In fact, I believe most people fail in life simply because they major in minor things.
In my view, nobody does a better job of describing how to focus on the important than does Dr. Stephen Covey. My recent article on his 7 Habits book provides several of his insightful quotes regarding time management.
Note that, while I’ve taken this opportunity to focus on proper time management, Dr. Kahneman’s book (linked above) focuses more on the financial mistakes we commonly make, and why we make them. It is a great read, and I highly recommend it to everyone who (1) wants to improve their finances and/or (2) better understand how our minds work.