There is no question about it – Americans are running out of time. Family dinners are a thing of the past. We run from appointment to appointment, take work home, and cram leisure time into short bursts of stress filled moments. The question is, how did we did get into this predicament? It certainly is not because we are inefficient. In the past 25 years, economists estimate that productivity has increased by 70% or more. We have overnight delivery, cell phones, fast food, and instant messaging. Shouldn’t our ability to get more work done give us more time? Where does all this “extra” time go?
According to Dr. Bill Quain, we are spending too much time at work, and not enough time on the things we really want to do. Americans in the 21st century work more hours than peasants did in the Middle Ages, and spend less time at home with their families because of it. We are busy staying busy, but all that work doesn’t always translate to a better lifestyle. Our debt is up, and our leisure time is down. In fact, we don’t even take the leisure time we’ve earned. More than 25 percent of Americans will take no vacation days at all next year.
Dr. Bill Quain, an experienced author, businessman, university professor and speaker prescribes a cure for the whole treadmill syndrome. Dr. Quain, known as “The Time Doctor,” says he is the first person to really solve the time problem. His book, “Overcoming Time Poverty: How to Achieve More by Working Less”, doesn’t cost much or take much time to read. But it explains a system for gaining not only more free time but also more wealth, with less work.
While many popular authors and business experts recommend taking more time off from work to improve your quality of life, Dr. Quain says that can be a prescription for disaster. “Most people trade their time for money,” says Quain. “If you work less, you make less! Then, your quality of life suffers. ” In his book, he describes a simple, five-step process to create more leisure time, with the money to enjoy it.
According to Quain, the process of overcoming time poverty is different than for overcoming financial poverty. Financially poor people don’t have money, but time poor people do have time. “We all get the same – 24 hours per day. It is not a lack of time, it is the way we use that time that matters,” says Quain.
How should we use our time? “Don’t just trade your time, hour by hour, for a paycheck,” he says. “Use any of your time to create equity, and then let the equity make money for you. ” In his book, Quain shows readers how to develop five kinds of wealth-and-time generating equity. Instead of working more hours, people can now increase the value of each and all hour – giving them more choices as to how they spend their time.
Quain says that most of us are just playing the wrong game. We work hard to make money, and then work more hours when we want more money. Soon, we have money, but no time.
It is time to play a new game — make more money in less time. Take a job you like, but get off the “fast track” at work. Then, leverage your time equity outside work to combine the income of a CEO with the leisure time of a retiree.
And that sounds like a perfect prescription for coping with the time challenges of the 21st century.