Is your time valuable?
Do you waste time? Does the thought of wasting time bother you? If bothers me.
While we all have the same amount of time to work with, the way we think about and value time changes as our lives change. When we’re kids, we don’t think much about it. As we accumulate obligations, we become more aware of it, and when we’re full blown adults, we wonder where it goes.
I like to think I’ve always been thoughtful of my time, but having kids really drove it home. Looking back on my life pre-kids, I wonder how I’m not the President of Earth. What in the world was I doing with all that free time I used to have?
All kidding aside, if we’re not paying close attention to our time, we run a pretty high risk of wasting it. There’s been a lot of interesting research showing that our minds wander almost 50% of the time. Learning that motivated me to engage in deep work, and to start practicing mindfulness.
Wanting to get more out of my available time also motivates me to conduct time audits at least once a year. I’m also constantly looking for ways to become more efficient, and to get certain activities/things off my plate.
In service of helping you get more out of the time you have, I want to share four things you can start doing immediately. Hopefully, you’ll find value in these as well.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
- You make $1,000,000 a year
- Gaining clarity
- Setting priorities
- Enforcing your priorities
Let’s get started.
You make $1,000,000 a year
Do you know the actual value of an hour of your time?
If your compensation is set, simply divide it by the number of hours you work and that will tell you the value of an hour of your time.
If you’re an entrepreneur in growth mode, or someone who’s expecting to make considerably more money in the future, let’s assume you’ll soon be making $1,000,000.
In round numbers, that comes out to $3,000 a day. Assuming you work an 8 hour day, that’s $375 an hour.
Now that you know your time is worth $375 an hour, what will be different? Everything? Nothing? Will you operate with a greater sense of urgency? Will you stop doing certain things? Will you start doing others? Take a moment and think about that.
Equipped with this new thinking, it’s important to get crystal clear on where you’re going and how you’ll operate.
We all have thoughts and ideas on what we want. We all know we’re supposed to have goals and values. But knowing we’re supposed to do something and actually doing it are two very different things. It certainly was for me.
Where you’re going
Odds are, if you’re making $1,000,000 a year, you’ve got pretty clear and well-defined goals. But, I know that’s not true for most of us. And I definitely speak from experience on this one. It took me a really long time to actually sit down, think about, and write down my goals. Once I did, it made all the difference.
To help you get clear and ultra-focused on where you’re going and what you’re going to make happen, you can access our Goals course for free.
How you’ll operate
What will you say “yes” to and what will you say “no” to. Getting clear on what you value will help you to set your priorities. It will become the lens through which you view your world, how you’ll evaluate opportunities, and how you’ll spend your time. It will go a long way in helping you stop wasting time.
To help you think about and create your values, you can access our Values course for free.
You’re making $375 an hour. You know where you’re going, and how you operate. Now it’s time to determine what you’ll say yes to, and what you’ll say no to.
Get a blank piece of paper and draw a horizontal line across the middle. Above the line, you’ll write down all the activities you’ll continue doing. Put the most important ones at the very top of the page, and the less-important just above the line.
Below the line, write down the activities that you’ll no longer do. Put the least important, time wasting activities, all the way at the bottom and fill in the rest based on importance.
Start putting everything you’re currently doing on that page. Literally everything.
This exercise will help you prioritize what gets your time and attention, and what doesn’t.
Enforcing your priorities
Now that you know what you’ll be spending your time on, and what you won’t, it’s time to enforce your priorities.
That you’ve spent the time and effort to create this list will make saying “no” a lot easier. It’s kind of like having a great budget that allows for a certain amount of charitable contributions every year. Once you commit the available funds, you can comfortably let other organizations know they can follow up next year and you’ll be able to consider their request.
If you haven’t been in the habit of telling people “no,” it may be hard at first. But once you start doing it, it will become more natural.
Your time is valuable. You owe it to yourself and the people who depend on you to enforce your priorities and to protect your time.
If you’d like to continue learning how to optimize your time, check out the Strive Online Bootcamp. It’s designed to help you detox your mind, body and money, and jump start your productivity.
Take control, stop wasting time!
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