How much is your time worth?

How much is your time worth?  This is a question often considered by some and seldom considered by many. As we get older, time becomes more precious since it becomes in shorter and shorter supply.  Like everything else in life, time also adheres to the law of supply and demand.  When you start off your life, you have more time to spend that when you turn eighty.  Thank about the last day of your life.  How much money would you give to have one more day to live?  How much of your wealth would you be willing to pay for one more day of life?  
We value our time differently depending on who asks for it and what it is going to be used for.  Some people like to fix things themselves to save money.  Others would just as soon pay someone to do it and then use their time to do what they do best or enjoy more.  The average American spends nearly three hours a day watching TV or movies.  How much of this time is wasted?  Perhaps, it all depends on the perspective of the person.
 I often declare that the present value of my time is 50 dollars per hour.  If I were richer or poorer, this rate would vary proportionally.  I set my “rate” as a means of considering where I might best spend my effort.  Although, my full time consulting rate is considerably higher, this figure gives me some kind of a baseline to evaluate activities against.  I live to think that I take into consideration the fact that I cannot bill 24/7.  Thus, I might decide that it makes more sense to mow my lawn, wash my car or do an oil change then have someone else do it for me.  This is based in part not just on the cost of the service but also the time I would have to spend arranging the service. I have put in a bid on a contract this Monday and 50 dollars was my baseline for my time multiplied by the number of hours I thought it would take to do the job.  This was a minimum bid and for less, it would not have been worth it.  In fact, if it had not been to help a friend out at work I probably would have passed on the work.  
Some folks would argue it is foolish of me to value time that is not billed the same way as billable time, since this time would not have earned any income anyway.  Nevertheless, it helps me to decide what I really like to do and separate that from what I have to do.  I do not need a heart attack to help me prioritize my values although even a diagnosis with Prostate Cancer does help me focus more.  Many are the days that will find me riding my motorcycle when my neighbor across the street is working on his bike in the garage.  Perhaps he would rather work on his bike, but I would rather ride mine.  I can hear the refrains of the song “Live for today, La La, Live for Today.”  
How do you prioritize your time?  How do you decide what to spend your time on or who to spend it with?  Are you spending it on what really matters or are you “wasting” your time on less beneficial activities and with less beneficial people?  How much is your time worth?  

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. John Persico
    May 26, 2012 @ 05:25:10

    I've been a fan of your blog for awhile, after stumbling upon it a few months ago. Thanks for the great content! We recently published an article “10 Reasons to Give Up on a Penguin Hit Site” that you may be interested in sharing with your readers.

    Here's the link:



  2. Bruce Galbreath
    May 29, 2012 @ 13:46:59

    “Think about the last day of your life. How much money would you give to have one more day to live? How much of your wealth would you be willing to pay for one more day of life?”

    I imagine that if I become old enough and unhealthy enough, that at some point I will give up, stop trying to stay alive because the pain and debilitation will outweigh any pleasure going on provides. If I reach that point, another day will be worth nothing to me. On the other hand, it depends on what that extra day contains. It's a cliche that extremely ill people often manage to hang on until one of their children's weddings or graduations, and then die shortly thereafter.



  3. John Persico
    May 31, 2012 @ 13:38:20

    I guess we can never really know what we will do. I am of your opinion Bruce that the quality of my life should determine to a large extent my choice of longevity. I cannot see hanging around with little or no capacity to enjoy life. Of course, when I was 20, I thought life ended at 30 and now that has really changed. Thanks for the comments Bruce.



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