Benjamin Franklin is credited with first coining the phrase “Time is money.”
Old Ben was a pretty wise sage who understood the value of time, which is without a doubt the most valuable asset entrepreneurs — and all of us — have.
But there is a difference between the clock ticking and dollars. There is really no cap on how much money you can have or make. The unlimited potential exists for everyone.
Time, however, is the same for everyone, whether you’re an unemployed person living on the streets or Bill Gates. You can’t create any more of it, and the constraints are equal. Probably the biggest difference between those with lots of money and those without is how to get the greatest return on their time.
I’ve often heard that few people at the end of their life — if given the gift of more time — would want to spend it working. The priceless moments of our life are those spent with family and loved ones or doing something that enriches us as a person. Yet entrepreneurs, executives and almost everyone I know struggles with the expectation and the reality that we are all working longer hours and trying to do more with less.
If you’re a numbers-driven person, you can actually compute the value of your time. We all have 8,766 hours in a year. The easy math is to subtract eight hours a day or 2,922 hours a year for sleeping, 2,922 hours a year for other activities and 2,922 hours a year for working.
Of course many of us work far more than eight hours a day and don’t get nearly eight hours of sleep. You also need to subtract vacation, sick time, etc. So accounting for these variables, figure out how many hours you actually work per year. Take your annual earnings and divide it by the work hours. That’s the value of your time per hour.
Now look at some of the tasks that you do. Are they all worth the value of your time? You can make more money by either getting rid of the task or having someone else who makes less than you do it. Figure out a few of these and you’ll be rolling in the money, right?
But of course life is not just about money. I know there are tasks that I do at the 7 Rivers Alliance or at my winery/bed and breakfast/farm that would be considered menial. But I also enjoy those tasks, which helps provide some personal balance. We can be as efficient and productive as we want to, but we’re not robots.
I am going to set at least one attainable goal that will provide me with more time. A little less time spent on social media reading strangers’ thoughts on politics would be more productive time for something else. It will also have a positive impact it will have on my blood pressure will make me healthier and wiser for 2019.
Wealthier would be icing on the cake.
Chris Hardie, CEO