If You Want To Be Effective Spend Time Like You Spend Money

A little while ago we looked at Time Is Not Money but thinking of it in a similar way will help effectiveness. If you want to be effective spend time like you spend money.

If I am going to buy something then one of the first things I will ask is how much will it cost me? Whenever I decide to do something I should ask the same question and the answer should be expressed in time not money. We know that anything we do has an opportunity cost To Be Effective You Need To Understand Opportunity Cost and so everything we do is at the expense of something else. I could write this blog or work on the new course. I can’t do both, I have to choose. How do I choose? I select the one that is my priority The Simplest Time Management System Ever but I need to consider something else. How long will this thing take or put another way how much time must I spend? In the same way that I can decide if I am prepared to pay the cost of an item in monetary terms I need to do the same with time except time is so much more valuable than money.

I might get offered a new job and the money is fantastic but it is a two hour a day commute rather than the 30 minutes I currently do. This is 7.5 hours per week extra. I calculate my hourly rate taking into account the extra hours and I am still a lot better off, but am I? That 7.5 hours per week which equates to over 300 hours per year means I can’t do those things I am currently doing in those 300 hours. Now some people might say no problem, it gives me 300 hours to read on the train, but others will realise it is 300 hours less they can spend with their children or exercise or practice the piano.

When you take this into account you can begin to see why work from home is so popular. It’s not about money, it’s about time. Effectiveness is about achieving your objective and it that’s income maximisation then take the job. If your objective is quality of family life then reject it. Effectiveness is not about productivity, it’s not about efficiency it’s about taking the time you have and spending it in the most effective way.

The same is true for business. What is the objective of your organisation? Only once you know this can you determine how to effectively spend the time of your people and your resources.

At the end of the day it is all about what is your priority?

Time spent fighting fires is time that can’t be spent planning for the future. Time spent on low contribution goods and services is time away from those that make the biggest contribution. Accepting a new order or contract will have time as well as financial implications. Often the financial side is considered in great detail but the time ignored. People end up working ridiculous hours and getting sick from stress or leaving and everything suffers. Not because the finances haven’t been organised properly but because of time.

Every time you buy something you subconsciously ask yourself “can I afford it and is it worth it?” Spending your time is just the same except the amount you have to spend cannot be increased. Have a look at everything upon which you are spending your 168 hours this week (we all have the same number of hours) and before you do anything ask “can I afford it (i.e. have you got the hours left and available) and is it worth it (in other words have you got something better to do)?

If you want to be effective spend time like you spend money except realise unlike money you can’t earn more time, you can’t borrow time and you can’t make up for time wasted.

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