Why Do You Need a Life Portfolio?

In life we have a limited amount of time. We can’t do everything; our time and energy is limited. So it’s important that we focus on that which matters most to us.

It’s helpful to identify everything we do and how valuable it is in our life, so we can determine what we want to keep doing and what we want to stop doing.

A portfolio represents a set of items across which a limited resource is invested, such as a set of stocks in which a fixed pool of money is invested. In a life portfolio, the items are the activities in our lives, and the limited resource is time or energy.

Thinking in terms of a portfolio not only helps us understand how our time is distributed across different activities, but gives us the concept of reallocation.

Each week we have a fixed amount of time—168 hours. Nothing can change this. When we add new activities, we must reduce the time spent on other activities.

Recognizing this reallocation of our time can be hard; too often we don’t consciously decide what activities we’re eliminating or reducing when we say yes to new things. The result: a non-strategic, haphazard reallocation of our time that results in more stress and less control.