All-day, every day, you give of yourself, your time, and your energy to other people. To work, to friends and family, to church and civic duties. But you also need (and deserve!) time for your goals and aspirations.

Therefore, you should set aside two hours every day to work on something that is just for you. This could be art, writing, or a bodybuilding regimen. Maybe you want to learn a new language or skill. Regardless of what it is, set aside time to work towards your goals.

Many productivity gurus recommend this practice because it’s the best way to be productive in the longterm. While I agree with them, there’s an even more important reason: You should set aside two hours for yourself because you are important. Because you matter. And because you have an existential need to learn, grow, and become better.

But what time of the day is best?

The best time is whatever works for you. Maybe it’s early morning when no one else is up (that works for me). Or perhaps it’s late at night after the kids have gone to bed and you can finally have some quiet time. Don’t get hung up on what time of day is best to invest in yourself.

Don’t fall into the trap that whispers, The “experts” say I have to invest in myself at 4 am, but that doesn’t work for me. Therefore, I just won’t bother. This line of thinking makes you feel good about doing nothing. It’s tempting and seductive. Don’t fall for it.

Just pick a time. Try it out. And make adjustments as necessary.

Now, if two hours is too much, do 20 minutes. You can find 20 minutes in your day to invest in yourself. That’s less time than it takes you to watch an episode of your favorite sitcom. Do 20 minutes each day for a week. Then, raise your standard to 30 minutes a day. Then 40, then 50. Slowly move the needle to two hours a day.

It’s hard. But you can do this.

And a little voice in your head may cry out, but Stewie, this is selfish! That voice is right: spending time, every day, on yourself, is selfish. That’s OK. There are lots of things that you do that are just for yourself: video games, TV, and social media. Use some of that time to invest in yourself.

So you hereby have my permission to invest in yourself every day. Because you are important. Because you matter. And because you have an existential need to learn, grow, and become better.

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