Here’s how to calculate, in dollars and cents, the value of your time
Written by Chris Bailey × July 17, 2018
Takeaway: It’s worth calculating, in dollars and cents, what your time is worth to you. Chances are the value will orbit around four things: how frugal you are, how much you value your time, your income, and how busy you are or how overwhelmed you feel.
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Calculating how valuable your time is can help you determine which tasks are worth spending your time on.
When it comes to productivity, one of the most powerful things to realize is that not all tasks are made equal. Some tasks in your work and home life—like training new recruits, investing in your learning, and playing a board game with your family—are valuable and meaningful to you. These are infinitely more important than repetitive work tasks, or maintenance tasks at home, like mowing the grass, cleaning up around the house, or doing your taxes—all of which can easily be delegated to a virtual assistant, student, or kid down the street.
Everyone can place a value on their time, and doing so is one of the most valuable calculations you can make when it comes to your productivity. There are countless ways in your home and work lives to buy back some time. Obviously you won’t always be able, or want to delegate tasks—especially at work, where you may not have the budget or flexibility to hire an assistant or student to work on your team. But when you look around, there are countless ways of buying back your time.
For example, deciding whether to:
fly or drive somewhere
take an Uber or public transportation
hire someone to mow your yard, shovel snow, or clean your place
hire an assistant, student, or team to delegate low-return tasks to
hire someone to do your personal or business taxes or accounting
becomes infinitely easier when you calculate exactly what your time is worth to you. Naturally, if you find value or meaning in the tasks above, they may not be worth outsourcing to someone else.
This calculation is entirely subjective, but over the last several years, as I’ve calculated my personal amount, I’ve found that the value has orbited around four things:
How frugal I am.
How much I value my time.
My income level.
How busy I am, and how overwhelmed I feel.
Even when I was a starving student, I found that there was a certain amount I would pay to buy back an hour of my time. Back then, I did my own taxes and worked a minimum wage job because my time wasn’t worth more than that—but it was still worth something, I figured around $5/hour. Today, many years later, the equation has changed: I’m busier and actually have a stable income, so I’m willing to pay more to buy back an hour of my time. In both cases, calculating how valuable my time was gave me a benchmark to see whether buying back some time was worth it.
I have a simple challenge for you: right now, spend a few minutes considering what your time is worth, given the variables above. The calculation takes some thought, but it will pay dividends over time. If you can’t do it right now, schedule 15 minutes in your calendar tomorrow to do the challenge—no matter how low or how high you think the number will be.
Every minute you save by not doing low-value tasks is one precious minute you can spend doing something more meaningful or important. When how productive you are is a direct result of how you spend your time, knowing the value of your time will let you evaluate opportunities to buy it back in the future. Every minute you save by not doing low-value tasks is one precious minute you can spend doing something more meaningful or important.This will let you spend your time on more meaningful things.
Illustration by Sinisa Sumina.
How The Flipkart Mafia(?) Flipped The Fate Of The Indian Startup Ecosystem
07 May’17 42 min read
Flipkart Founders, 10 Years, 233 Flipsters, 207 Startups And $400 Mn In Funding
Uber. Airbnb. LinkedIn. YouTube. Tesla Motors. Yelp. All seemingly large, yet primarily unrelated companies. What you may not know, though, is the uncommon thread connecting all these multi-billion dollar companies – they were all advised, funded, or founded by former PayPal employees, better known in today’s startup terminology as the “PayPal Mafia.” Today, we present a similar tale, of how a class of entrepreneurial legends and an entire ecosystem arose from who was once called India’s glorified bookseller, Flipkart and the various entrepreneurs, investors and startups it sprouted, The Flipkart Mafia.
The Mafia, the Mob, the Syndicate or, like the Italians like to call them, La Cosa Nostra (Our Thing), is the name of a secret, a criminal organisation which evolved in mid-19th century Sicily. Today, it has come to define a group of people wielding substantial (political, military, or economic) power for their own benefit.
Back in 2002, PayPal was acquired by eBay for $1.5 Bn and was touted as a “worthwhile investment for eBay.” One of the major reasons for the PayPal deal was eBay’s expedition to hit the $3 Bn revenue mark by 2005. Interestingly, it touched $4.5 Bn in revenues for the year 2005.
Update [March 2018]: Flipkart Plans 4.5 Mn Sq Ft State-Of-The-Art Logistics Park In Bengaluru
But analysts had mixed opinions on the acquisition. “This is good news for eBay, but bad news for PayPal,” opined Gwenn Bezard, an analyst with Celent Communications at that time. According to him, PayPal’s shareholders would have benefited more if the company remained independent. The criticism did not die down with time either as Eric Jackson, a Forbes contributor, termed the deal as “the worst tech decision in the last 10 years.” According to him, PayPal left too much value on the table by selling early.
However, the impact of a particular deal can’t be judged by the deal size or the value founders or investors get, but by how it impacted and helped in revitalising the overall ecosystem around it.
The Gorgeous And Gracious Re-Birthday
A Poem by jay
Whose Re-Birthday is that? I think I know.
Its owner is quite happy though.
Full of joy like a vivid rainbow,
I watch her laugh. I cry hello.
She gives her Re-Birthday a shake,
And laughs until her belly aches.
The only other sound’s the break,
Of distant waves and birds awake.
The Re-Birthday is gorgeous, gracious and deep,
But she has promises to keep,
After cake and lots of sleep.
Sweet dreams come to her cheap.
She rises from her gentle bed,
With thoughts of kittens in her head,
She eats her jam with lots of bread.
Ready for the day ahead.
With thanks to the poet, Robert Frost, for the underlying structure.
When I am having a dire dilemma or I am at my wits end I run to: 1. BhagvadGita for a Random Shloka sarvadharmaanparityajya maamekam sharanam vraja | aham tvaa sarvapaapebhyo mokshayishhyaami maa shuchah || Abandoning all paths, come to Me as the only refuge. Grieve not, for I will liberate you from all sins. and A bible gifted to me by a friend. 2.saiah 37:17Passage: Give ear, LORD, and hear; open your eyes, LORD, and see; listen to all the words Sennacherib has sent to ridicule the living God. Then I try and interpret in my own way and find meaning by relating these to my problems. I Usually find my answers in my prayers.