They say ‘time is money’, but is it really? Another school of thought says it is what you do with your time that translates to money or wealth. I prefer to lean towards the later. We can definitely value our time in terms of what we are worth, but if we are not doing anything worthwhile with that time, then it is definitely worthless.

The question then is, ‘what are you doing with your time to make it worthwhile?’ Making your time worthwhile does not begin and end with money, how worthwhile your time is also depends on what values you hold closely to your heart. These then determines what you should be doing with your time. Saying that, we can still place a financial value on time to determine what it is worth. In doing this, you are able to plan your time better and prioritise tasks.

Say for instance you are paid by the hour for the services you provide, you immediately know how much each hour is worth to you, and also know that for every available hour you are not productive, you may be losing money. Let us say you earned $100 per hour, then imagine that you had house chores to do that would take 2 hours of your time daily, 7 days a week, that would mean you were investing $1,400 worth of your time in house chores, how much would it cost you in a month to have a cleaner do these house chores.

However, on the other hand if you were spending that time – quality time – with your family, you might place a higher value on the time, and $1,400 would mean nothing in comparison to what you may have gained from spending time with them.

You could also easily have spent that time doing some reading, writing, networking or other personal development activity that would in the long run, result in an increase in your earning capacity or income; this then could be considered as time well spent.

We are familiar with statements such as ‘I’d give anything to have one hour of peace and quiet’, so if you spend a couple of hours relaxing, you know no matter what the time may have cost you in money, it is either well deserved or worth it as a treat to yourself.

If time is worth money, what could you be doing in your spare time to bring you in money? Perhaps you sometimes spend your spare time twiddling yours thumbs wondering what to do, and bemoaning your state of boredom; or maybe you are currently out of a job. Now is the time to think of something worthwhile you could be doing with that time to add value to both your income and life.

Spare time activities include; learning a new skill or language; utilizing an existing skill of yours to make money i.e. baking, sewing, proofreading, designing clothes or homes, teaching; writing your business plan for that multi-million idea you have; or that writing that blockbuster book. The list is exhaustive

Another perspective of looking at time is to consider how much time (money) you could be wasting. Take for instance if you have been putting off investing or starting a pension plan. For every minute, hour or day you put it on hold, consider the money in interest payments you may be losing. What about those premiums we pay for not being able to make up our mind quickly, such as advanced booking discounts on travel/show tickets, or even late fines?

Also, there is what is considered the moral outrage factor, whereby for the sake of moral or principles, you end of up spending money fighting an issue that may end up costing you more money than the sum you are in dispute over i.e. you spend 15mins ($25 of your time) on the phone disputing a $5 overcharge on a bill.

The important thing is to know what your time is worth, what values you hold dearly, and then prioritising how you spend that time. This will put you in a better position to maximize and use your time wisely.

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Yvonne Ruke Akpoveta

Author, Inspirational Speaker, Change Consultant, and John Maxwell Leadership Coach & Teacher at OliveBlue Inc

I work with entrepreneurs, leaders and organisations to transition through change, drive results and achieve their goals. Author of the book “The Change You Want! Change Your Mindset, and Change Your Life”, as well as two other guide and workbooks on business and professional development.

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