“Bob, you know, my therapist says that if I don’t value my time, nobody’s goin’ to.” – Teddy, Bob’s Burgers
A woman is checking out at the cash register. My partner and I are somewhat patiently waiting for her to finish, pay, and go. Until the cashier rings up her tomatoes. Then, she saw the price and got upset. “Those are supposed to be $1.48 a bag,” the lady says. The cashier politely says that they are 1.48 per pound. “No! I wanna see your manager. Send someone to go look.” The woman gets frustrated and the cashier explains that she can’t they are just too busy. And this was at Walmart. Every register was manned by a cashier and “busy” was an understatement. There was going to be a considerable wait if she had to get someone to go look at these tomatoes. So, I offer to go and look and I take the phone with me. I go and look and they are, in fact, 1.48$ a pound. I show the cashier and the woman, and while the cashier thanks me, the woman gives me the dirtiest look anyone has ever given me to my face. “You’re welcome,” I thought, but of course she doesn’t care. I didn’t tell her what she wanted to hear, so I am obviously a part of the problem to her. We cash out, we leave, and we miss the bus. An hour wait to catch the next one, or we can walk home. We walked. Why? Because an hour wasted, versus and hour of exercise and sun. It was a no brainer for us.
Now, this story ― if you aren’t a time management nut like I am ― may seem insignificant. In fact, you may think missing the bus was the entire point. It isn’t. That woman didn’t say thank you, and I honestly don’t mind, but I think it’s a fantastic example of people not valuing one another’s time. By value, I mean, if you do something for someone ― like going out of your way to check that price tag ― you deserve a thank you. It doesn’t have to be money. Not all value equals money.
There are so many tasks I need to do in a day in order to accomplish my goals. When someone is late to a meeting, or just doesn’t take the time as a serious commitment, I get frustrated. Of course, not everyone is like this, but you should be. I am a firm believer that if you aren’t early you’re late. I don’t care if you are there at 5:01, if we said we would meet at 5:00. Think that’s wrong or rude? It’s not. Be there at 4:58 and I can accept it.
If you are on time you’re late, if you are early you are on time.
“Better three hours too soon, than one minute too late.” - William Shakespeare
If you aren’t valuing other people’s time, then you need to start, because if you don’t value other people, they won’t value you. But if you do value your time, and someone doesn’t value it, then you are in no way obligated to roll over for them and play dead on their time. That’s why, if you don’t value your own time, no one is obligated to do it for you either.
So, why do you need to value your time? Just so people will respect you? Absolutely not, there is nothing to do with respect from other people in this. It is all about you, valuing your own time. It’s about not letting some jerk tell you they are going to underpay you and you letting them. If you’re a writer, an artist, or literally anyone, value yourself and value the time you have.
Life is short, but it also is your forever.
If someone offers you twenty dollars for six hours of work, tell them no. You are worth more than that. Value yourself. You are worth being paid enough to live on. You are worth the “Thank you,” for going out of your way to help someone else. It is worth it to make as much of your time as you absolutely can.
How do you value your time? Where do you start? How can you make the most of it? These are questions I asked myself too. As a freelancer, I have let people walk all over me because I was broke and desperately needed the money. Now, I decide how much my time is worth per client and per project. I let someone wear me out with over a hundred little changes to a design, and I realized I was being played. I stood up to that person. It didn’t go well, but I sure as hell felt better after I kicked them to the curb. I am never going to let that happen to me again.
I sat myself down and told myself, “Johannus, you are worth more than a few pennies per hour of your time.”
“You are worth more than a few pennies…”
As soon as you tell yourself you’re worth it, start acting like it. There is no other way to do this. I can’t walk you through a step-by-step process, but I wish I could. This comes from within you. What I can give you is some tips in the form of a step-by-step, though.
Be Early: When you are late, you’re not valuing your time or anyone else’s.
Use Your Time Wisely: Every second of the day matters. I spend every moment trying to learn something new, in fact you can use YouTube Channels, news articles, and more for this. I like to read articles like this one while in the bathroom—why waste valuable time? When I’m in the shower I play YouTube videos with information on Self Improvement and more. It is about utilizing every moment of your day in an effective manner.
Check Your Priorities: What are you making important? Scrolling through Facebook? Shopping when you don’t need anything and you know you have work to do? It’s important to figure out what is a priority. Because when you’re late you are saying, “This isn’t important to me.” So, check your priorities and decide why it’s important to you.
Stop Making Excuses or “Reasons”: I know this is one everyone hates to hear. Look, I’m sorry traffic held you up and you were late to an interview or a meeting, but why didn’t you leave early enough that you accounted for traffic? Stop making an excuse. The only good reasons for being late are being sick, injured, or dead—or someone close to you being so. I know that’s super morbid, but if you aren’t going to go or can’t make it, just call ahead of time and tell them.
Small things matter: Everything, even little things make a difference toward working toward success, your goals, or whatever you are seeking to accomplish (Which is a goal, by the way.) Do the small things. Give your partner and extra kiss when you’ve been working late. Turn on a YouTube video about improving your life while you shower, use these small moments to have big impacts.
Do only a few things at a time: This is a big one ― it’s easier to manage your time when you’re focused. So, only focus on one or two tasks at a time. Don’t bite off more than you can chew, set up a schedule so you can juggle all of your tasks in a timely manner.
Focus on the present: Everything you are doing right now will benefit the future, but if you don’t focus right now on today, you get stuck in an infinite loop of, “I’ll do it tomorrow.” But tomorrow never comes, it just becomes another today—and you never do it. So, stop lying to yourself. Count down from 5 to 1 and at the count of 1, go and do it—TODAY!
Don’t procrastinate: I did an entire video on this, and I will link it at the end of the article. You need to control procrastination—not revel in it. If you catch yourself ignoring the dishes to read your Facebook Newsfeed, or scrolling through Twitter, it’s time to reprioritize (see above). Procrastination kills creativity, it kills motivation, and it will do nothing but wear you out. Especially when you fall into a Facebook “debate” trap and spend the next few hours wasting your time, and theirs’. Just walk away. Turn off the computer if you must, and go do your work. If you’re an artist or a writer who needs to work at the computer, then turn your internet off for a bit. Or you can find some great links in the description of my YouTube Video that will help put locks on your social media to keep you off them.
Last One, You’re in Control: Listen up, y’all. Your problems are no one else’s but your own. When you allow someone else to impact your life and take that control, you have decided to do so. Start making better choices. No longer allow other people to control your life, or to waste your time. This is all you. Take control.
“The great dividing line between success and failure can be expressed in five words: “I did not have time.” Franklin Field
It comes down to saying thank you to someone—even a stranger going out of their way for you. Walking for exercise when you don’t need to, but why waste an hour sitting around? Have faith in what you are capable of. Don’t let other people devalue you or make you feel worthless. Only you have that control. Not only did we save an hour of wasted time by walking home, we also saved five dollars, and I was able to use that bus money to get us some water for the trip home—way better investment if you ask me.
So, what are your goals? How are you getting things done? Let’s chat about it? Tweet me @AuthorSteger with #ValueMyTime and tell me all about it!