The intent of Success on the Far side of Fifty is simple. I want to add value to your life. It is my goal to provide you, the reader, with the inspiration and information that you need to live the life of your dreams. Todays post is centred around one of the most important questions that you can possibly ask yourself;
What is the value of your time?
If you were offered $5,000 per hour to do your present job would you take it?
If you were offered $0.05 per hour would you still do your job?
We all place some degree of value on our time, but very few of us take intentional control over how we spend it.
Time is one of the only currencies in life that really matters. While money is a renewable resource time is not. There is no way to retrieve one wasted moment; we can only learn to use our time better in the future.
Nearly everyone I know wants to make some sort of change in their life. They want to be healthier, happier, wealthier and have better relationships, but how they spend their time doesn’t reflect those priorities.
While it is a given that we can’t achieve everything we want in life at one time it doesn’t make sense to me that we trade so much of our time for things that add so little value. Instead of spending time with our children we waste it on careers that don’t work for us. Rather than improve our health we sit in front of a television. Rather than write a book we spend our time washing dishes.
Anyone who knows me knows that I hate to waste time – unless I choose to. I value my time greatly and use it accordingly.
Knowing how to get the best use of your time starts with deciding exactly how much your time is worth.
What is one hour of your time worth?
This whole article was born as a result of my need to get an oil change for my truck. Typically I pay around $130 for a full synthetic oil change, but I know I can buy the supplies for around $50. Given that it would take me about an hour to change oil choosing to change the oil myself means that I value my time at about $80 per hour.
Should I save the time and pay to have my oil changed or should I save the money and do it myself?
For me the general answer is rather simple – as an author, and business person I generally value my time at much higher than $80 per hour, particularly when it involves doing things I don’t really enjoy.
But when it the last time you considered how you value your time? Have you ever used that as part of your decision-making criteria?
Should a lawyer who charges $200 per hour save the $80 on getting an oil change? Unless the lawyer gets intrinsic value from changing oil I would say they shouldn’t.
What about a person who is working at a minimum wage job for $12.50 per hour. Given that, before tax, they would have to work 6.4 hours to pay for the oil change I would say they should do the work themselves. Doing the labour means they would retain about 5.4 hours’ worth of earnings that they could apply to something worthwhile.
What value do you place on your goals and dreams?
As you know life is not purely a mathematical exercise. There are things in life that we do, and should value more than money. Yet we still don’t seem to make time for those things.
What value to you place on your health? Just ask someone who has lost it.
What value to you place on your relationships? Think how you felt when you lost one.
What value do you place on your dreams? How much money would you give to achieve your biggest dream? How much time do you put in to achieving that dream?
Are you trading high value time for low value outcomes?
My suggestion is spend at least a portion of your time in pursuit of worthwhile goals. Even though I am currently employed in a full-time job I have found the time complete 3 books and approximately 30 blog posts. In addition I play the guitar, read, spend more time with my immediate family than anyone else I know and I still have the time to work out at least 6 times per week.It isn’t that I have more time than anyone else. it’s that I have determined the value of my time and I have chosen to use it much differently than most people.
If you want some insight as to how much value you place on your time check out this FREE Value of Time calculator that will scientifically determine how much you really think your time is worth. This is a 10 minute quiz and requires no sign up. It is fun, safe and easy to use.
Try this experiment.
Try putting an actual dollar value on the things that really matter in life and then look at how you spend your time. Be honest – do you spend your valuable time on what should matters most or are you doing something differently?
Please don’t be the person who spends all of their time on low value activities. Instead of watching television go for a walk. Rather than play a video game grab some time with a family member. Instead of going to a job you hate find something that you love.
If you want to take immediate steps to living a more productive and impactful life check out this great post called Five quick and easy ways to save hours every day.
Remember you deserve a great life!!
As always thank you for reading success on the far side of Fifty and feel free to drop me a line or leave a comment.