I have an important questions to ask you. What is your time worth? Now, you might immediately answer with how much make per hour, or how much you charge for a product. Those things only make up a portion of the answer to this question. To answer it completely, we must first look deeper into what time truly is.
What is Time?
Philosophers have debated this subject for years. Is time more than just a measurement of the duration of events? Is time real or is it perceived? One thing we know for sure is that everyone has physical time.
Physical time is a global measurement based on the earth’s orbit. It is the only thing that is distributed evenly to every living soul, regardless of circumstance. We all get 24 hours every day. It doesn’t matter if you are a Fortune 500 CEO or if you are working on your side hustle, we all have the same amount of time. The difference is how we each choose to use it.
Time is a Series of Experiences
Have you ever thought, “Where did the time go?” Sometimes, it happens when physical time has passed, but we have no awareness of that time. We’ve formed no memories. It goes by like it never existed – like it was wasted.
Sometimes it happens when we are enjoying ourselves so much, physical time is irrelevant. The experiences created are so meaningful, we want time to stop so we can live in the moment indefinitely.
The most meaningful kind of time is time spent creating memorable experiences. In your business, meaningful time is the time you spend following your passion and doing work you love – the work that makes you happy and fulfills your mission.
At home, meaningful time is the time you spend making memories. Even though the time may fly, it is time you will remember because of your experiences. For some, this means watching their children take their first steps, perform in the school play or even go off to college. For others, it is travelling to Europe for the first time, seeing their favorite band in concert or hiking the tallest peaks.
Prioritizing Your Time
How would you rather spend your time? I dare say we’d all answer this question the same way. We want to spend our time doing things we enjoy – things we are passionate about. We want to create the memories and experiences so we have something to look back on.
But life and work are filled with necessary tasks that don’t fit this description. Sometimes, there are things we have to do in order to get to the things we want to do.
In life, the “have to” things might be taking out the garbage or mowing the lawn. Neither of those tasks have ever made it on my “want to” list, but I know if they didn’t get done, I’d live in a smelly house in the middle of a jungle of weeds.
In business, those “have to” things keep your business running, i.e. scheduling social media posts or following up on sales leads. Those tasks are like taking out the trash – if you fail to do them, you could be looking at a serious mess in the future.
So, what do you do? Spend all your time managing the “have to” tasks or focus on the reason your started your business in the first place? The answer to this conundrum circles back to my original question – What is your time worth? And, how much do you value the experiences in your life?
When you place the highest value on experiences, finding alternatives for completing operational tasks seems like a no-brainer, especially if the investment pays off with more experiences. Alternatives include things like:
- Eliminating unnecessary or duplicate tasks
- Automating and streamlining processes
- Outsourcing or delegating
Investing in your business in this manner not only helps it grow, it allows you to focus your time on doing what you love and find most valuable. And after all, getting the most out of your time is truly the best value.
Connect with other Solopreneurs and Small Business Owners - Join Our Community
Ready to connect with other like-minded entrepreneurs who have broken away from the corporate world and are running their businesses on their own terms? Join our free Facebook community, Indie Executives.