You are wasting time.
We all do to an extent, but the more successful people minimize wasted time and know how to get the most out of the same 24 hours daily that you and I have. Yes, many work long hours, that is true. Yes, many work weekends as well, that also is true. However, there are lots of people who work long hours including weekends and don’t get near as much done. It’s a matter of getting more value from your time because you understand the value of your time.
In my postings on social networks today, I shared a quote from M. Scott Peck. Peck was a psychiatrist and also an author. His most famous book is The Road Less Traveled. A lot of what he wrote about over the years was fulfillment and he was a big advocate of leading a disciplined life. He also believed in understanding your worth. The quote I shared today was
Until you value yourself, you won’t value your time. Until your value your time, you won’t do anything valuable with it.
Understanding the value of our time begins with understanding the value of those things, including us, that take up that time. Here are a few considerations to help you understand the value of your time:
- My friend Kevin McCarthy developed the concept of the On-Purpose Person (you can buy the book on Amazon). The foundation behind it is that we have to determine what our purpose is and once we understand that we have to plan our actions to make sure they are in alignment with our purpose. In other words, you must be On-Purpose. Kevin uses a light switch as an avatar to remind you to evaluate whether what you are doing is on purpose or off purpose. While sometimes off-purpose can be a good thing, what we look to do is make more of our actions on-purpose. So, in other words, when you understand your purpose, you attach value to yourself and your time. Being On-Purpose is making sure that you are doing something valuable with that time.
- If you lean more towards the pragmatic, you can do the math. If you calculate out the dollar value of your time, then you understand better how much that time is costing you each time you waste it. There are lots of internet sites to show you how to calculate it out, but the simplest one I found was on The Simple Dollar. You figure out your take home pay from last year and subtract out all expenses associated with working, such as child care, transportation costs, etc. Divide that by the actual number of hours you devote to working each year, including commuting time and all. That gives you an actual dollar value per hour. So everytime you look at an activity, evaluate it by how much it is costing you using that figure. You may find yourself leaving out a lot more less productive uses of you time.
- Be both sides of the customer/business relationship. As a customer, how do you feel when service in the restaurant is slow, when the doctor makes you sit 30 minutes in the waiting room, when the repair shop doesn’t have your car ready when promised, when someone promises to deliver something to you by a certain time and then doesn’t come through. You probably, if you are like most, display anything from displeasure to outright rage. Someone has not valued your time and you WILL NOT TOLERATE IT. But you do the same to yourself. When you choose to put off productive tasks, to pick activities that look busy but actually don’t get you any closer to your goals or tasks, or simply choose to do something entirely unproductive, then you are treating yourself like that restaurant did, like the doctor’s office, like the repair shop, or the dozens of others who may have let you down today. Insist on quality productive time out of yourself and believe in the value of your time.