How about a Play Cheque ™?

By: Lawrence Ross

February 6th, 2023


Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash


You've considered how you would alter your lottery time and you've completed your Time Energy Analysis™.  Now one should reflect on the time versus money tradeoffs.


Ashley Whillans, a behavioural scientist, and assistant professor at Harvard Business School in Boston, researched how people navigate trade-offs between time and money. After surveying thousands of adults worldwide from all financial standings, Whillans said those with a time-centric mindset were better off. Those who valued time over money reported higher levels of happiness, better social connections, healthier relationships, and greater job satisfaction.


Whillans told CNBC in a 2020 interview that people need to start seeing time as the more critical currency that it is. She suggests starting by:

     1. Convincing yourself that time is at least as important as money.

     2. Reminding yourself of your values when faced with critical decisions.

     3. Making deliberate and strategic decisions that allow you to have more time across days, weeks months and years.


Enforcing these steps will help make time-affluence a constant in your everyday life.


Now it’s time to consider how you can rejig your current time spent earning an income.


In my work with pre-retirees, we look for ways to evolve one’s career in order to move them away from earning a pay cheque and closer to earning a play cheque™.  This process involves identifying activities within your job that maintain or expand your energy and enthusiasm as well as those that drain them.  The energy drainers are activities that we now call ‘work’. 


The strategy is to look for ways to reduce or eliminate many of those work activities through delegation, changes in your job role, a move to consulting or move to a more flexible job elsewhere.  Other changes people can make to decrease the ‘work feel’ of their careers include reducing the number of workdays, amount of time commuting or traveling. For many, it is equally important to recognize the activities you wish to continue, increase, and even begin doing in your career planning for the future.


Some people I have worked with have seen their income increase when they began to focus their career activities.  Others have found a more sustainable and enjoyable career balance where they may earn a little less but end up farther ahead because continue to work longer with enjoyment.  You will know when you have achieved the ideal work balance because you will find yourself giggling when you get paid.


Ben White on Unsplash


Every one of the 4,264 weeks we have are ours to discover. How will you balance your time and money now that time is abundant? Brainstorm ideas to get your play cheque coming in. Whillans told CNBC: "Nothing less than our health and happiness depends on reversing the innate notion that time is money. It’s not. Money is time."


And as the ancient Chinese Taoist philosopher, Lao Tzu, said: "Time is a creative thing. To say I don't have time, is like saying, I don't want to."



The opinions, estimates and projections contained herein are those of the author as of the date hereof and are subject to change without notice and may not reflect those of BMO Nesbitt Burns Inc. ("BMO NBI"). Every effort has been made to ensure that the contents have been compiled or derived from sources believed to be reliable and contain information and opinions that are accurate and complete. Information may be available to BMO NBI or its affiliates that is not reflected herein. However, neither the author nor BMO NBI makes any representation or warranty, express or implied, in respect thereof, takes any responsibility for any errors or omissions which may be contained herein or accepts any liability whatsoever for any loss arising from any use of or reliance on this report or its contents. This report is not to be construed as an offer to sell or a solicitation for or an offer to buy any securities. BMO NBI, its affiliates and/or their respective officers, directors or employees may from time to time acquire, hold or sell securities mentioned herein as principal or agent. BMO NBI -will buy from or sell to customers securities of issuers mentioned herein on a principal basis. BMO NBI, its affiliates, officers, directors or employees may have a long or short position in the securities discussed herein, related securities or in options, futures or other derivative instruments based thereon. BMO NBI or its affiliates may act as financial advisor and/or underwriter for the issuers mentioned herein and may receive remuneration for same. A significant lending relationship may exist between Bank of Montreal, or its affiliates, and certain of the issuers mentioned herein. BMO NBI is a wholly owned subsidiary of Bank of Montreal. Any U.S. person wishing to effect transactions in any security discussed herein should do so through BMO Nesbitt Burns Corp. Member-Canadian Investor Protection Fund.If you are already a client of BMO Nesbitt Burns, please contact your Investment Advisor for more information.

Want to learn more? Contact me