I don’t use a budget for my personal finances. It takes up too much of my time.
I use Mint.com to review all the expenses that posted across various bank statements and credit cards once per week. It takes about 10 minutes unless I spot a charge that doesn’t look right.
Things are different when it comes to budgeting my time. I spend 10 minutes per day reviewing my plans, energy level, mental attitude, stress, and accomplishments. Then I spend 30 minutes per week budgeting my time for the coming seven days. Once per quarter I reserve an entire day to plan the next quarter and make firm commitments for specific outcomes.
Why the difference?
It has to do with the magnitude of effect. If my wife and I get into a bad habit of spending too much money on frivolous expenses, it might set us back a few hundred dollars for a couple of months before I notice the trend and we self-correct. So the most I have to lose is a...
To make decisions, we run mental simulations of the future.
The better you get at that skill, the more likely you are to get what you want.
While that sounds simple, mental simulation is a marvelous form of power. And generating complex models of the future, for decision-making, is one of the most impressive feats of the human mind.
Would you like to get better at it?
Here’s the first step for improving this skill. Acknowledge its difficulty. Come to terms with the fact that this is one mental skill worthy of receiving your deliberate attention.
As a psychologist, I have seen firsthand that intelligent decision-making is more important than IQ when it comes to finding relationship success, happiness, business success, physical health, and financial peace of mind.
And I’m not the only one who considers good decision making to be among the most potent forms of intelligence. The famous theoretical physicist, Michio Kaku makes the case in his book, The Future of the Mind. He...