This column is by Srinivas Rao, Founder, unmistakablecreative.com
A few days ago I decided to try a little experiment. I looked at what I got paid for a one hour speaking gig and decided to treat every hour of my day as if it was worth that amount. When I did that, it became quite easy to avoid distractions, do deep work, and say no to everything that’s not aligned with my essential priorities. I was able to easily focus on my highest impact activities:
- Working on my Second Book/Writing Articles
- Rehearsing for an Upcoming Speaking Gig
- Interviewing People for The Unmistakable Creative
By placing a high dollar value on your time, you’ll not only manage your time more effectively but also value it much more.
1.Treat Your Time Like It’s Worth a Small Fortune
If you knew your time was worth 1000, 5000, or 10,000 dollars an hour, how would that change your days? Assume that your time is worth $1000 an hour. Then ask yourself “would I pay somebody 1000 dollars an hour to do what I’m doing right now? You’ll be amazed at how many of the things you do daily that you’d be unwilling to do.
2. Realize that Time is a Non-Renewable Resource
The supply of time is totally inelastic. No matter how high the demand, the supply will not go up. There is no price for it and no marginal utility curve for it. Moreover, time is totally perishable and can not be stored. — Peter Drucker
Time is the most valuable asset at our disposal. If time was the currency in which you paid for things, would you squander it on distractions or things that don’t really add meaning or value to your life?
A while back I said that calendars are more effective than to do lists. But without knowing how long something actually takes, we can’t really tap into the power of our calendars.
Come up with a to-do list. Start a timer on your phone and calculate how long each item takes. Write down the length of time somewhere. Schedule on your calendar accordingly.
For example, I wanted to see how long it actually took to upload an episode of our podcast to SoundCloud and set things up to be published on our website. It took roughly 25 minutes, and now I know to schedule a 30-minute block on my calendar.
3. Focus on High Impact High Income Activities
There are only a handful of activities in any creative or business endeavour that result in momentum and are considered high-impact. My friend Mike Harrington refers to these as 10,000-dollar- an-hour tasks.
- If you’re writing a book, it’s sitting down to write.
- If you’re building app, it’s writing code or getting new users signed up
- If you’re a public speaker, that’s rehearsing your talk or talking to potential prospects to hire you for speaking engagements.
In terms of processing email, I like the Dan Kennedy filter:
“Is this a person trying to give me money or is this a person trying to get me to do something?”
As Jocelyn Glei said in her recent book, “not all emails are created equal.”
Assigning a really high dollar value to your time can have a significant impact on your productivity and creativity. Decide what an hour of your time is worth and you’ll be pleased with how easy it is to act accordingly. If you value your time at $10,000 an hour it might just be worth that some day.
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