Time is our most valuable and limited commodity. We all have a finite amount. We all get 24 hours in a day (A lot or a little depending on your outlook). One of the most common issues I come across when working with clients is a general disregard for the value of time and a general lack of concern for the fact that, well, time WILL come to an end for all of us at some point. How do we determine the value of our time and what do we do with the time we have left once we finally wake up to the fact that yes, time is running out?
I know, it seems dark and morbid to say that “death is an ultimate motivator.” But, it’s so true. Think about it, whole artistic movements have emerged from the idea that we should all live today as though it were our last day on earth.
Now that everyone is feeling really upbeat and happy, let’s get to the actual point of this post:
If you want to determine the value of your limited time so you can better utilize said time to build a life you can be proud of, you must complete a few steps:
- Determine your strengths. There are some things you’re good at and some things you’re not. This is true for EVERYONE. But bear in mind, just because you’re “bad” at something, doesn’t make it a waste of time if you’re passionate about it. I once knew a boy who loved to write. He was TERRIBLE at it, but he enjoyed it so much that he wrote for the sake of his own mental stability. That is OKAY. I suggest we don’t think about those types of “bad at it” tasks. Let’s focus on the tasks that not only are we bad at, but we hate as well. If you HATE mowing the lawn, and it always looks like an alley cat with mange when you get done, it’s NOT your strength… but maybe you’re really good with flowers, and can grow a flower garden with barely a flick of the wrist. Well, that’s a strength (to which I say, pay some kid a few extra bucks to mow the lawn and save money on a landscaper by doing your flowers yourself).
*) Here’s a side note for you; you can be good at something and still hate it – but that is RARE. Most people REALLY ENJOY THE THINGS THEY’RE GOOD AT! When was the last time you met a really great artist who hated creating art? Probably never.
*) Side note two; it takes approximately 10,000 hours of practice at anything to be considered “really good.” This is not my statistic. I heard this at a seminar I attended about time management and it really stuck. Why in the world would anybody spend 10,000 hours doing something they hate? They probably wouldn’t. Unless they’re mentally unstable.
*) Sidenote three; HERE’S A BIG ONE – I am not, I repeat, I am NOT talking about the things you don’t like but MUST DO ANYWAY. Please continue to launder your clothing, clip your toenails, brush your teeth, wash your dishes, et cetera. FOCUS… the lesson at hand pertains to people who continue to do things the hard way, despite having BETTER OPTIONS!
- Determine the actual, quantifiable value of your time. I found a website called clearerthinking.org that dedicates an entire program to figuring out the value of time and how that value varies with each individual – the crazy part is that your time value is as unique as your fingerprint almost! This website has tons of other cool stuff I’m still exploring, but WOW to figure out the value of your time in terms of monetary expenditure is totally eye opening.
- Decide WHAT you’re going to do about it. And ACTUALLY DO IT.
Here’s the thing, most of the people I help on a daily basis have spent hours upon hours working on their businesses and have nothing to show for it. Why? Because they’re NOT WORKING IN THEIR SWEET SPOTS. If you’re not good at something, and you hate doing it – there’s a good chance, no, a GREAT chance that you’re slower at it than you are at something for which you have talent or passion. For example, if you know you need a website to launch your health and wellness business, but you don’t know anything about websites and you don’t LIKE web design and you even hate the idea of learning about domains, you’re NOT going to be quick and you’re certainly not going to have the best website in your market.
It seems SO clear when you look at it from this perspective: If I’m going into business and I will have competition, and I KNOW I suck at web design, WHY? Why? Why am I putting countless hours into designing a web page that will be, at best, mediocre? Will it compete? No.
The reasons people do this usually revolve around “control” (this is one of my ‘things.’) I like control, but once I realized (several years ago now) that I could be more in control of my life as a whole as soon as I let go of control on some sticky details, I was FREE! And, I’ve never looked back.
This is true of anything. If you REALLY VALUE your time, isn’t it smarter to find someone who IS PASSIONATE about, say, web design or content writing (or whatever – and yes, these just happen to be products Virtue provides) and let them do the work you don’t like/don’t do well? Because when someone is passionate about a particular thing, they do their best work! Meanwhile, you could focus on the stuff that pertains to your ACTUAL BUSINESS, like perfecting your product or working with clients.
Money is another factor that keeps people from valuing their time as they should. Because somehow, though it doesn’t logically make sense, they’d rather spend 100 hours of their time doing something they aren’t really gifted toward than to make the investment and let a professional finish the SAME PROJECT in a fraction of the time. There’s a good chance this group has never taken the value time test, nor have they counted up how many hours they’ve actually spent doing what they hate/are terrible at doing. To these people I say, since time is your most valuable and most rapidly depleting non-refundable, non-renewable resource… WHY AREN’T YOU PAYING CLOSER ATTENTION TO IT (I mean, do you just waste money all over town, doing things you hate to boot, without ever thinking about the funding source)? NO, you do not. Unless you’re, again, mentally unstable.
I beg you, do the time is money test – but beyond that, think about where you WANT to spend your time. If today were your LAST DAY, would you be glad you spent it doing something you hate? The investment is up to you, because YOU’RE the only one who will see the return.
Love in Him,