Importance of time: How much do you value your time?

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Photo by Miguel Á. Padriñán

Why is time important? We can all agree – there’s never enough time. Or, if you’re bored and depressed, too much time. Either way, chances are that you don’t notice the importance of time – and don’t value your own time. You give it away freely or spend it on stuff that doesn’t make you feel happy or fulfilled. You probably don’t award it a monetary value either.

Now, before you click away because you think this is a productivity article, stop right there. It’s not.  It’s also not a look at why time is important as I’m pretty sure you can figure that out yourself. The point of this article is to share an incredible tool that highlights the value of your hours, whether you’re an entrepreneur, freelancer, employee, or anything in between.

The importance of time in our life

Life is all about making choices with the time that we have. Some choices are exclusive and limit other opportunities. Some choices open doors to opportunities. Either way, we need to make the best choices for the time we have, given the information we have.

While you may not value our paid time (what you earn in your job or freelance capacity) but you’ll certainly value your free time. So, you might charge overtime if you work late hours or into the night, but you won’t necessarily even think about the importance of time (or the value of it) when it comes to housework, waiting in queues or responding to comments on your social media channels.

So, how do you decide what your time is worth?

Most of us decide what our time is worth on the fly.  You might say I want to earn 50 dollars an hour. However, you need to look at the number of hours you work and how much of that is billable, etc. How much do you actually earn with the time you allocate to it?

As a freelancer, I track my time on Clockify and I can only bill hours in relation to results. So, if I waste time and am unproductive, I can’t charge for it. So, this has made me conscious of the time I waste in a day, because if I only charge 4 hours in a work day, what happened to the rest of my time?

Until now, I’ve never really looked into the actual value of my time and whether I’m even earning enough. I’ve never even considered if I should be increasing it as I get older and have less of it.

The most important time is now

I came across this amazing tool that calculates how much your time is worth – and really highlights how important time is. Part of the Clearer Thinking programme, you’ll be asked to answer questions like:

How much you currently earn per hour, how many hours you work per week (in a single job or for multiple clients), how much you’d want to be paid to take on an additional task, and how much you’d pay to avoid waiting in line, to name a few.

Here’s how to work out the value of your own time.

Blue-Footed Booby Success Formula: How much is your time worth

  1. Go to the Clearer Thinking programme questionnaire
  2. Enter what you currently earn per hour and follow the suggested prompts
  3. Get your report (note: you can receive this by email or not, it will display on screen)
  4. See if anything changes in your thinking about what your time is worth!
  5. Take action accordingly

I found the results to be incredibly interesting. For example, my report states that I value my free time more highly than my current clients are paying me!

This is apparently common. As my report stated:

“The amount of money people need in return for an extra hour of neutral work tends to go up with each hour of work they’re already committed to. This means that most people’s free-time hour value will be at least a little higher than the amount they’re currently being paid per hour. However, because you value your free time so highly, it may be a good idea for you to reduce the number of hours you’re working each week so that you have more free time available. Alternately, you may want to attempt to negotiate a higher wage for yourself, or to look for a job that will pay you more.”

Wise advice indeed.

How is time important in our life?

The report also suggested the following:

“It’s possible that you’re more reluctant than you should be to spend money in order to free up time — for instance, by paying for time-saving services or purchasing time-saving devices. Your money/time value suggests that it may be worth it for you to delegate some tasks to paid help from time to time so that you have more free time at your disposal.”

Clearly, I’m not valuing my own time, and you’re probably not either.

The report also highlights the hours I can save making better decisions (now I know the cost of those hours). For example:

If you’re debating whether to purchase an item worth $xx, you should spend much less than 40 minutes making up your mind (*based on my hourly wage). If you spend longer, the value of the time you’ve devoted to deciding whether to buy the item will exceed the value of the item itself!

Time = money

Knowing the importance of your time – and the value of it, helps if you’re deciding:

  • Whether to take on additional work, and at what hourly rate
  • Whether you should try to scale down your hours at your current job
  • How long you should wait in line (for a free item or to do a task you could potentially outsource)
  • Whether it’s worth the extra cost to take a cab
  • Whether it’s worth it to hire a virtual assistant, a laundry or cleaning service, or outsource tasks (such as hiring a freelancer on Upwork)

Time vs. money tradeoffs

This really made me think. Us boobies are constantly making time vs. money tradeoffs. As the result suggest, knowing the monetary value of your own time allows you to make better decisions. Whenever you’re faced with a time vs. money tradeoff, you can use what you’ve learned to figure out whether the money you’re earning (or time you’re saving) is really worth it to you.

Knowing the importance of time will change your perspective on how time is important for us. It will also help you to better use your time to achieve your goals or lead a more meaningful life.

Time is important. Learn to value it and use it wisely with this awesome tool. If you’ve tried it, let us know in the comments below and don’t forget to join the blue-foot flock!