Time Debt 🕰️ 💸

“What is Time Debt?”

Time Debt is when you don’t have enough hours in the day to get things done, so you raid your Time Banks and then steal more time through a Time Heist.

You’re here because you’ve run out of time.

You’ve sold your time to too many clients, projects, and obligations.

So? You go into Time Debt.

You raid your Time Banks

You work a weekend.

You keep working weekends.

Evenings get raided, too.

Late nights become regular. You revel in getting into bed early.

Meetings get rescheduled. Expectations get renegotiated.

You slide further into time debt.

You start to do drastic things.

Time Poor

When you’re Time Poor, you don’t have enough time, so you start skipping on obligations and commitments:

  • Exercise
  • Hobbies
  • Sleep
  • Friendships
  • Regular practices, like Yoga or Meditation
  • Marketing your business

When you’re Time Poor, the easiest thing to do is stop managing your pipeline.

It’s easy to pull time from marketing. You don’t see the effects of your marketing (or your lack of marketing) for a month or three.

And if you’re client-rich? Then it’s easy to ignore your marketing. Why focus on it, when you’re paying down your Time Debt to your clients?

You pull time from marketing. You don’t notice it yet, but your leads start to thin out.

Getting out of Time Debt

There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch, friend-o.

If you want to get out of Time Debt, you need to spend less time.

Cut the time you’re spending on your obligations, commitments, and worries.

It’s time for a Time Heist

Start saying no

Start tracking your “No”s. Say no to every project, commitment, or opportunity that shows up. Give yourself 1 point for each Significant No1.

Stop deferring, start declining

If it’s good enough to do later, it’s good enough to say ‘no’ to today. Then, when you’ve paid off your time debt, see if it’s still worth doing (or needs doing).

Cancel meetings

You can’t kick them to forward to ‘future you” through a reschedule. You need to cancel the meetings.

When you defer or reschedule a meeting, you’re stealing time from your future self.

Kick a week of meetings into the future? Nice. Now you’ll get caught up.

But it’s all on credit.

Your future self has to deal with those deferred meetings on top of their regular meetings.

Review projects and cut, cut, cut

How many projects do you have on the go right now?

Sit down and make a list. Write down all the projects that come to mind.

Get ready to cut your total projects by 50% or more.

Each of your projects is something that you’re spending time on. You’re either working at it or worrying about it.

What have you left untended? What have you safely ignored?

If it’s survived this long, it’s either going to thrive or die on its own.

Free yourself of that worry.

Set the weeds of worry on fire. It’s the only way you’ll survive.

Review your overdue tasks and delete, delete, delete

If it hasn’t gotten done by now, you aren’t going to do it.

If you keep rescheduling it for the future, delete it.

Yes, someone will care. So what?

Just delete it.

If it’s a client project that you can’t get to, maybe you’ll need to refund some money.

Have a conversation with your client about how you can realistically help them (or, can’t help them).

Free yourself of worrying about that things that you’re never going to get to. Be happy.

Do the hard and necessary thing

Say no.

Free yourself.



  1. Thank you, Patrick!