The Value of Time

September 27, 2021 by Cheryl Viola, Executive Director

The one thing everyone has in common is that we all have the same number of hours and minutes in a day.  We are all guilty of wasting time on things that don’t matter. Do you constantly check social media or procrastinate? Wasting time is often done subconsciously. You can review steps to improve time management from a previous blog post.  

 Henry David Thoreau said “It’s not enough to be busy, so are the ants. The question is, what are we busy about?”

An article written by James Clear, outlines how not everyone uses their time equally. For example, throughout my life, I have had people refer to me as the energizer bunny. Typically, I am on the move from the moment I wake up in the morning until I fall into bed at night. James Clear explains that how we invest our time will produce various outcomes. For example, people that choose to spend their time doing more profitable work typically make more money. Others invest their time in building meaningful relationships and some dedicate their time to volunteering and making an impact in their community. Regardless of what your goals are it all comes down to how you spend and value your time.

1.         Your time is valuable.

      There will be many times that you will stop and question what price you put on your time. For example, do you purchase a nonstop flight and save a couple of hours? Do you pay a neighbor’s teenager to mow the lawn freeing up an extra hour or two on your weekend? Do you spend the week working with a client that will pay $2,000 right away or work on a business idea that could generate $20,000 over the next year?

Have you taken the time to calculate the time you spend on a project and put a monetary value on your time? I worked on a fund-raising project and the question was asked how many hours did I work on the event and if I was to outsource my time and skills how much would it cost. In an average 40-hour workweek, you would spend 2080 hours at your job (weekly wage = hourly wage x hours per week). If you are paid $15.00 per hour and the project takes you 24 weeks to complete from start to finish you would have spent 576 hours on the project. If you only worked on that one project you would have invested over $5000 of time. Too often we undersell our skills, talents, and time

2.         Time teaches you valuable lessons.

Change and uncertainty are the only constants in our lives. If you are not changing and growing you are stagnant and that is not a place you want to be. As you traverse through life, through jobs, time gives you experience. You learn valuable skills and talents that all require time and effort. One of the most important lessons that time teaches is that you are more capable than you know. We are our own worst enemies and try to convince ourselves we can’t do things. Live for today and enjoy the journey.

3.         How you spend your time affects you.

For example, if you spend your time watching TV you will have watched a lot of television. If you take that same amount of time doing something productive you will become good at something. It takes time to become good at anything. Make an effort to improve a skill.

4.         Whom you spend your time with changes you.

If you spend time with friends who influence you to be your best self then it is time well spent. If you spend time with people who help you stay distracted or have a bad influence on you this can affect your behavior and be your downfall. Search for mentors and friends who lift you.

The one equalizer we all have is the same amount of time in a day. 24 hours which is 1440 minutes or 86400 seconds each day. When you see someone who is super productive remember they have chosen to spend their time differently.  Tony Robbins said “One reason so few of us achieve what we truly want is that we never direct our focus; we never concentrate our power. Most people dabble their way through life, never deciding to master anything in particular.” How will you choose to spend your time today?