Perhaps the TOP and most important productivity secret I’ve learned over the years is to value your time and make becoming more productive a priority. Why?
Because it’s the foundation for everything else. People that don’t value their time usually don’t care whether they are productive or not, and they typically don’t do anything about it.
I’ve come to realize that many people don’t value their time very much, if at all. Perhaps they feel that no matter how much they waste their time today, they’ll just get more tomorrow. They see an endless river of time flowing their way one day after the next.
But you and I know that while this “river of time” may seem endless, it’s really NOT. Time WILL run out for all of us.
Management guru Peter Drucker says that time is one of our most precious and valuable resources. That’s why time management training and coaching provide such a great return on investment (ROI), because productivity gains and time savings usually have a direct effect on your bottom line.
Being more productive means you can get more done in less time, which is like getting extra productive time each day to work on your important projects or to do the things you enjoy most.
This chart shows the cumulative yearly value of gaining just 30, 45 and 60 minutes of productive time each day at a rate of $40 per hour.
As you can see, we’re talking thousands of dollars in added value even at the very conservative range of only 30 minutes of gained productive time each day, which considering how much time the average person wastes in a day is a VERY realistic and easy goal to reach.
But the biggest financial payoffs happen when you start focusing on higher-value projects and activities. When you prioritize and start spending more of your time on important, higher-value activities, it’s a lot like getting an instant pay raise.
When you spend your time on things like improving your marketing, increasing sales, creating new products or developing new passive income streams, that’s when productivity gains can really pay off big time.
You are not only able to get more done in less time, but you are actually spending your time on more important and higher value projects and activities. When you get to this point, you can actually start to work less and end up earning more.
Even if you are an employee working for someone else, spending more of your time on higher-value activities means you become more valuable to your employer, which can lead to promotions and raises.
The point is that becoming more productive is not just about getting more stuff done in less time, but investing your time more wisely in higher value projects and activities.
Calculating Your Own Hourly Time Value
Here’s a simple exercise (from Dan Kennedy) that shows you just how valuable your time really is…
To calculate your hourly time value, you start with your current earning target for a year. If you are self-employed, this could be your revenue target for the year. If you are a business owner, it could be the portion of your total revenues that you directly contribute to as the owner. Just enter that value in the top box of the form below.
For example, if you are self-employed and want to make $10,000 per month, your earning target for the year would be roughly $120,000. Don’t worry about getting an exact figure, this is just a rough estimate to help you see what your time is really worth. You can also enter your total number of working days each year (default to 220), the total number of hours you work each day (default to 8), and the number of truly productive hours you have each day (which for most people is usually between 3 and 4.)
Let’s go over the results. The Minimum Value Per Hour is the absolute minimum that your hours need to be worth in order to reach your earning target and includes both productive and non-productive hours.
The Value of Productive Hours shows you how much your truly productive hours are really worth. Because this is the time when you get the truly important “money making” work done, these hours are VERY valuable compared to your non-productive hours which you can think of as “overhead.” Productive hours are NOT just for “billable” time, but also include important and highly-valuable “money making” activities like marketing and building relationships.
The Monthly Value of Adding One Productive Hour shows you how much converting one of your non-productive “overhead” hours into a productive “money making” hour each day would be worth to you after just one month.
And the Yearly Value of Adding One Productive Hour shows you the cumulative value of adding an extra productive hour each day over the course of a year.
Once you realize how much your time is really worth, you can use this information to help you make better decisions about how you spend your time. For example, you can use it to decide whether it’s better to do something yourself or outsource or delegate the work to someone else.
Or you can use it to decide if it’s worth taking on a new project or assignment, or it’s better to pass on it and focus on something more important.
How To Value Your Time And Make Productivity A Priority
You can see why valuing your time more and making productivity a priority is so important and valuable, but how do you actually do it?
One of the best ways is to put your money where your mouth is. As human beings, we will naturally value and give more attention to something we are invested in than something we are NOT invested in. You’ve probably seen these before from your own experience.
If you get a training program for free, you may skim it but probably won’t do much with it. But if you pay $20, you’ll start to look at it more carefully. And if you pay $100, $500 or $1000, you are much more likely to not only go through it but start implementing the ideas and putting them into practice. That’s just human nature.
Obviously, I’m biased, but that’s why investing in a time management training program (like Be More Productive), working with a Mastermind team or hiring a time management coach is a great way to value your time and make it a priority, because then you are much more invested and committed in your results.