Early in my career, I learned one of the best time management strategies: Determine what your time is worth and how much you earn per minute. I did not know at the time just how important this is.
Initially, the question caught me off guard. I can understand that my time is valuable, but seriously, who really cares the value of each minute? After some consideration, I decided it couldn’t hurt to answer the question and subsequently determined that my time was worth $2.00 a minute. This translated to $120 an hour or $249,600 a year. Later, I revised my goal to $7 a minute or $873,600 a year. The value of each minute of my time became a driving force and motivator for the success I have experienced in my business and life, and the best news is that it can be for you too!
Knowing the value of my time has been an instrumental factor in my becoming financially free. This has also helped me realize how critical it is to choose carefully how to spend my time. When you say “yes” to something, you are either directly or indirectly saying “no” to something else. Therefore, you should always be saying “yes” to your goals and HVAs (high value activities). You also need to say “yes” to the most productive course of action. Say “yes” to the choice that helps you stretch to the next level. When you say “yes” to these types of choices, you are saying “no” to the wrong choice. You are saying “no” to LVAs (low value activities), which have low value and low impact. They are often useless tasks that waste time. You are saying “no” to distractions that lead you away from your goals. You are saying “no” to anything that is holding you back from reaching your destination.
You need to delegate tasks to your staff when the task needs to get done but is not an effective use of your time. As the leader, you need to seek out opportunities that allow you to find a new client, make the extra sale, and expand your business. Let’s look at a real world example.
Kelly and Guy both began their promising careers in the financial services 15 years ago. Fast forward, Kelly has a million dollar advisory business and amazing life. Guy is living hand-to-mouth and on the verge of bankruptcy. So you may be wondering what went wrong, and more importantly, what you can do to ensure it doesn’t happen to you.
Kelly began her career with a solid plan. She planned her work and worked her plan. While she and Guy spent about the same amount of hours per day working, Guy never determined what his time was worth. Kelly’s hours (and minutes) were spent on high value activities, while Guy spent his time on LVAs that made him look busy but did very little to progress his business. While subtle, the differences over time were mind boggling. It brings me to the point of this insight: understanding the value of each minute of your time.
You need to continually ask yourself this questions, “Will this action move me closer to the achievement of my goal?” When you choose the right action and understand the value of each minute, you can’t help but improve your results.
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