What would you do, if some stranger wanted to take money from you? Without any physical force, just a smile? Would you let him get away with it?
What would you do, if a good friend had stolen money out of your purse? Would you smile and give him more of your hard earned cash?
Well I am pretty sure, you wouldn’t let that happen (or at least not a second time).
If you are so careful about your money, a resource that you think might be a bit scarce (when it really isn’t at all), how come you be so careless with a much more important and much scarcer resource of yours – your time?
We give away our time like we are over-abundant with it, yet believe it or not, if someone is about to live for 80 years he only lives 29.586 days or 710.064 hours.
If that is you, you aren’t even a millionaire then, when it comes to hours. In fact it could be a lot less. Yet most of us, spend our time like we had trillions of it. So the fact is, most of us value time far less, than we value money. Although that might be a sad fact, there also lies some power within. We could use the value of money we have in our subconscious mind to increase our value awareness of time.
You could ask yourself:
- How much is one day worth to you?
- How much one hour?
The Concept of Time Value
I’ve been a freelancer nearly all my life. So I am used to charge my services by the time that I need for a specific service. As a freelancer the basic unit I did sell very often was my time. While there are problems sticking only to this, if you would like to grow exponentially (you have a maximum of 24 hours per day), this concept can make up one of the best tools you can use to free up your life from a lot of unnecessary commitments.
Every commitment of yours takes up some of your time. And since your time is limited to exactly 24 hours per day, you should honor your time as one of your most precious ressources you have. Now I am sure you’ve heard this before. But how can you make sure, that you’ll stick to it.
Well. get used to attach a value to it.
Advantages of Time Value
First attaching a value (like a dollar value) to it, teaches you a lot about your own self-worth. If I would come to you and ask you for one hour of your time, how much would you honor that essential ressource of yours. Assigning a dollar amount to it, could give you a hint of how much you value yourself.
This value obviously isn’t carved in stone. Just as my experience with age increased in different areas, so did my acceptance of myself increased. And I was able to value my time and freedom with ever increasing amounts I would charge someone for taking up that resource of mine.
Now I don’t want you to get greedy. But I want you to become conscious that giving an hour of your time is the same as investing that amount into something. And you better make damn sure, that what you get in return is in a good proportion to this investment. And I don’t only talk money here.
Helping people I love getting some things done in their lives wouldn’t give me the money equal to my time investment, but I would feel well paid through love, enjoyment, feeling connected and so much more, that I don’t need money to be motivated to do it.
But when people ask me to do things, that I won’t feel inspired enough myself to do it, I check out with my own self esteem, if I really would like invest this hour or day, and whether the return is in a good proportion of my time investment.
Calculate Your Actual Time Value
How do you estimate that value. Well, a first place to start would be to get to know how much you’ve been paid in your business per hour. And I mean really per hour. If your making $800 per week for a 40 hour week, you are making $20 per hour. But if the real time you are investing is 60 hours per week, then you are only making $800 / 60 hours = $13,33 per hour. This realization could be really shocking to you, but it could be a healthy shock to realize how little or much money you make for an hour of your time.
Now if you really love your job, then there are some other factors to take into the equation of whether to change your job, and I am not talking about changing jobs lightly in these days. Yet this realization could be an essential impuls for you to get clear about how to really spend your time.
I highly suggest that you up this value that you calculated, so that you make sure for yourself that your leisure time gets enough value consideration.
That means if you are paid $20 per hour on your job, you should at least value your leisure time with a bit more than $20. Maybe $25. Now it makes no sense for you then to value your leisure time with $200 if you are paid $20 on your job. If you are really paid $20 per hour then your self esteem isn’t in the league of asking for $200. So get a good proportion.
How to Use Your Time Value
Now whenever someone wants your time, you should realize that this would equal an investment of the hours needed for it times the amount you value your hour.
For the sake of easy calculation – let’s assume that you would value your hour with $20. Now if someone came along and wants 2 hours from your time, you should then realize, that this would equal an investment of $40 from your side. You could ask yourself then: “Is what I get in return worth “$40 or more?” If you think so, then you should consider spending time on it, otherwise I would highly suggest you get to the Art of No-Fu, and say politely “No” to it.
But you shouldn’t stop there. You should also realize how you spend your time. Let’s assume you go to a movie. You pay $10 for it. But you also spend 2 hours of your time. That would make another $40. So your real investment (money + time) would be $50. Now ask yourself, was the movie worth $50?
Now don’t be afraid to do this. I love going to the movies. And I do value my time much higher than $20. But I know that spending time with maybe a loved one with a good, inspiring or funny movie is worth more than that.
While you might be tempted to shrug off this as materialistic thinking it is quite contrary teaching you a lot about the real values in life. You could for the first time attach a real value to your “Values”. Ever wondered about those Life-Management-Seminars when they talk about your “Inner Values”? Ever thought that this is a vague concept? Well not any longer for me, since I know how much worth I would attach to “Freedom”, “Love”. And trust me, they rank much higher for me, than working 8 hours in a cubicle. You can only live your “Values”, if you donate time and attention to it.
And the real currency you’ll pay in this life is not money .. it is time and focus.
Carpe diem – Seize the day.