Investing vs. Spending Time

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Have you ever noticed that the world seems to be divided into two camps? There are the people who invest time and people who spend time. 

No matter which camp you’re in, everyone knows that time is valuable and this tends to motivate people in different ways. What you choose to do with your time can affect your success and relationships.

Are you investing or spending your time in your organization? Do you even know the difference? I find that most people who are spending their time get little in return, but those who are investing their time are seeing a greater gain.

Let’s look at the actions of a time spender. We will call him Edgar.

Edgar walks into a meeting 10 minutes late, finds a seat and goes for his coffee. He meets a fellow colleague and begins to chat about last night’s baseball game and never really pays attention to the strangers in the room. During the meeting, he does not take notes of what his fellow members are asking for during their weekly presentation and often chats to the person next to him, keeping them both distracted from their fellow colleagues.

When he stands to do his weekly presentation, it is clear that he has spent no time developing his request and he wings it. During the Feature Presentation, Edgar is completely distracted checking his email or talking to his neighbors. When it’s time for the “I Have” portion of the meeting, he announces that he has no referrals. Rarely does he have time for a one-to-one and consistently stays in the red. Edgar has perfect attendance and he passes large referrals to two people in the chapter so his “Thank You for Closed Business” is always very high.

Edgar spends time in the meeting each week, but when he leaves he is done spending any more time on his membership in the organization.

Now, let’s take a look at Elvira. She heavily invests her time in her organization.

Elvira has been a member for three years. Elvira is always 15 minutes early to her organization’s meeting to assist others in setting up tables. She meets the visitors and greets members as they come into the room. When she takes her seat she immediately posts to social media that she is at the meeting, allowing others to see her commitment to the group each week. When members give their weekly presentation, she jots down what they are looking for on the member trade sheet and when she stands to do her request, she knows what referrals she is looking for and is very clear in her presentation.

During the Feature Presentation, Elvira takes notes and commits to finding this member a referral before the next meeting. During the “I Have” portion, she hands out several qualified referrals and several “Thank You for Closed Business” cards to give to other members who have referred her. After the meeting, she sets up one-to-one meetings with members to update their GAINS Profiles and a new member she does not know well. Elvira understands the importance of investing her time in the organization and her colleagues because it allows her to have constant return. 

So, are you investing your time in your organization or are you just spending time doing another thing? To get the return on your financial investment in your organization, you must be willing to invest your time.

Hazel Walker is executive director of BNI Central Indiana.

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