Front-end loading is the practice of putting as much value or work into the beginning of a given time frame so the remainder of the time is freed up. It is the exact opposite of procrastinating. There are multiple processes that humans front-end load like working on a project or doing chores around the house. I find the idea of front-end loading particularly interesting because it opens up the possibility of having more free time with the tradeoff of a little harder work early on. Being a results-driven person, seeing the end goal accomplished earlier on also appeals to me.
In college, I was normally the first one to get a homework assignment done in my circle of friends; I like to get up early to work out so I do not have to think about finding time later in the day; at my job, I try to finish the work required for my assigned piece of a project early on before working on other, less impactful tasks. These are some ways that I have integrated front-end loading into my daily life. The crux of it all is simply that I do not want to wait to do something that I can do now.
When I think about a timeline and the required effort to complete a task within that timeline, I normally worry about getting it done. Where some might shut down while feeling overwhelmed, I have learned that I do the opposite. I am lucky that my brain decides to react that way, and it seems most people will fall into either category. Either a fire gets lit to move someone towards a goal, or they give up and don't even try. My reasoning behind completing the work early is security. If I can do the work now, why would I wait? Maybe something else will come up later on down the line that would draw me away. As long as I am capable, I will try to get the work done now instead of later. This is where front-end loading can tie into personal finance. One of my main goals in life is financial security.
There are only a few things that it is possible to front-end load once in a lifetime and be done with. Luckily, working and saving money are some of those activities. Not only are they available to be front-end loaded but my life could also benefit tremendously from the greater effort put in earlier and the money invested with a long time horizon. While other activities must repeat on a more frequent basis like cooking or cleaning, gathering enough resources that will hopefully provide for me in the future can be thought of as a once-in-a-lifetime activity. That is one of the powers of money. Thinking of money as a method of storing value, we can store enough value to live off of without putting in or creating anymore.
My reason for front-end loading hard work and a high savings rate is that I can reach the point where my investments begin to produce more income than I do in a shorter time than if I put it all off. When that happens I can cease working as hard and saving as much as I currently do. The faster I can hit that point the faster I gain the freedom that only money can buy because I won't feel as constrained as I do now. For me, that means having the ability to work on what I think will have the greatest impact on society no matter the monetary benefit that I will receive in return. It also means I can take greater risks since I will be taken care of financially by my past self's effort. To me, that's the American dream and that's what I am working towards.