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Truly Valuing Our Time

David Sherry
3 min read

I enjoyed this post from Khe Hy about a $10,000 hourly rate.

We're aware of this, but often we forget: That time is by far our most valuable resource.

You can turn it into anything you want, and that optionality is precious. An hour, or a day, is malleable, and as we stack them on top of each other, we can continue to bring into fruition incredible things.

Time is the energy behind growth and change. We need time for creation and without it

On a personal level, it's finite. And it's supply dissipates each day, meaning each day is more precious than the previous, needing more intention than the previous.

No two people utilize it the same.

And so, the person who uses it with intention, spending 2 hours of focus per day may accomplish more than the person who has so much free time that they waste it.

Ultimately, it is us who assign value to this time, who decides what it is worth doing during it. Looking back on myself as childhood, I don't regret playing outside for hours. But looking back this week, I do regret paying so much precious time to other small things.

Time doesn't have a complete market – however, in the world of work we do create hourly rates, which somewhat simulates this.

Let's say that you charge $100 per hour for your work. And let's say you spend an hour a day, each day of the month on Facebook or Instagram. Effectively you paid $3,000 (30 days x 1 hour) to Facebook for using it. Double it and you are spending $6,000 per month just to scroll this feed. And that's only 2 hours per day. And that's not including what you could have done with the time otherwise.

So it's interesting that people will value their time around work but are happy to pay that much in their attention. Would we pay that much in physical dollars, if that's what they charged? Of course not, so I wonder what that number is for you? How much would you spend to have a Facebook account each month?

I think it's more than zero, less than $6,000 – and probably somewhere around $150 per month. Which would mean you'd get 1.5 hours PER MONTH to use the service.

Instead of scrolling, you'd likely use it to catch up with family, friends, connect, post stories…?

And, let's say you were heading out for a meeting with someone who you could potentially do work with. Let's say you spent 30 minutes in traffic, and 30 minutes waiting for them to arrive. You've now spent $100 to meet with this person… $200 if you include the hour during the meeting.

Would it still make sense to take this meeting?

And I know it sounds like $100/hour is a lot, but for the most precious resource, you own on the entire planet, which is being reduced by 24 hours every 24 hours… it might change your calculation.

So to me, I want to bump that value up to at least $500 – and probably a lot more. Probably to Khe's $10,000/hour.

So now I'm spending $1,000's to meet with someone for a potential opportunity. If there was a shopping cart and that's what I was buying, that would look pretty expensive to me, depending on the opportunity.

Of course, this analogy isn't perfect – but interestingly, it is about our perception of time.

How much value our time is in direct proportion to how much value we create with it.

We might skip that meeting entirely just to read a book to our children.

And we would be very upset about getting kept on hold at the bank for 2 hours waiting to speak with customer service. That cost me $1,000!!

So you are the arbiter of the value you place on your own time. You get to decide on these trade-offs every day, about what you should do with this energy and fuel.

What will you transform it into?

And given enough time (what you have is still enough) how will you value it?

xx David

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