The True Value of Your Time

The True Value of Your Time


It’s Monday morning, and you don’t want to get out of bed. Getting up means going to work, and you aren’t sure you can face it.

Not that there is anything wrong with your job. Well, nothing you can put your finger on. Nothing that anyone else would agree was a reason to pull your blankets over your head and stay home.

What Is Wrong With You?

What if it’s not you? What if it is your job that is the problem? What if, somewhere deep inside, a part of you realizes that something isn’t right? And you just don’t want to admit it to yourself.

The Uncomfortable Truth About Your Job

You are losing out just by going to work, and it’s only going to get worse. The more time you spend working, the less time you have to do the things that make life worth living.

The good news is that it’s not too late to do something about it. But doing so will force you to make some serious changes in how you view work and the value of your time.

What Do I Mean By You Are Losing Out?

You’re getting paid, aren’t you? So what’s the problem?

The issue is that the value of our time far exceeds what we could ever make working. No matter what our job is. No matter how high our salary. Spending a valuable resource to earn a fraction of its worth is a losing proposition.

What Makes Time So Valuable?

We are only on earth a short while which makes our time a scarce resource. Scarcity in the face of demand drives up cost, and there is no shortage of demands for our time.

Not only is our time limited, but it is getting ever more so. Every second we live is one less that we have ‘in the bank.’ And as a resource becomes ever more scarce, its value only increases.

So Why Do We Work?

Because we need food, shelter, clothing, and other necessities to survive. These things cost money, and working is the primary way the majority of us get it.

Many of us also choose to work for things beyond those minimums. We may do this because we want more things, or because we think that they too are vital for survival. These can be things that we come up with, but sometimes they are things others have convinced us of. Often it’s hard to tell the difference.

But make no mistake, spending time working beyond the what it takes to survive is costing us a fortune. And once it is gone, we can never get it back.

But Don’t I Get Paid By For My Time?

No. You get paid for the work you can produce in a given period (hourly, yearly, etc.). Try showing up and sitting for 8 hours doing nothing and see how long you last. No work, no money.

Furthermore, different jobs are paid at different hourly rates. This isn’t due to any difference in the quantity of time but always has to do with some aspect of the work (complexity, quality, scarcity, etc.). So time and work very different things.

But Time Is Required

Unfortunately, we must spend time to produce work. And in doing so, we are expending a resource that is much more precious than the end product.

It is much like making windows out of diamonds. They would do the job, but we would be better off using something much less valuable for such a mundane purpose.

What Can We Do?

Fortunately, there is value in our time beyond money. This means we can make the value proposition of work better by finding a job that we love.

Is your current job what you always dreamed of doing when you were a kid? If not, why are you doing it? Even if you do have your childhood dream job (you did grow up to be a fireman!), does the reality match the fantasy?

If it doesn’t, you should be doing everything you can to make them match. If you can’t, find something you have a passion for and move on.

Doing so will help balance the equation. Once work becomes something we genuinely enjoy, we get more value back for the time we invest.

But if our job isn’t on the very top of the list of our favorite things to do, then we are still running a deficit.

Take Ownership

Is your work something you could do on our own? Would the extra freedom of working for yourself make things that much more enjoyable? If so, why aren’t you doing it?

With our new understanding of the value of your time, we should also take a hard look at the cost of things we currently feel are ‘must haves.’ If we do, we may well find that they aren’t so necessary after all.

If we can let some of these things go, we can either work less or change jobs to something that doesn’t pay as well but is more rewarding.

So What’s Your Point?

My point is we all should stop and reassess what we are doing with our time. It’s important not only that you understand the true value of your time, but that you use that knowledge to make sound decisions about your work.

These decisions may bring significant changes in your life or none at all depending on your point of view. But at least your choices will be conscious and informed.

Start Right Away

If upon review you decide changes are needed, do not delay. Because we have precious little time in our lives, and none to waste.

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