Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Prioritising your time: How much is your time worth?

Ever feel snowed under? So busy you want to scream - that there aren’t enough hours to the day or even days to the week?

Unfortunately, you can’t conjure up more hours to your day. Once you’ve wasted time doing something, it’s lost forever. But how much is your time worth exactly?

Here's a quick 'n' dirty calculation for you. If you take your salary and take off the last three digits, you’ll be left with a two- or three- digit figure. Then divide that figure by two to give you your approximate hourly rate of pay.

For example, David receives an annual salary of £56,350 a year. So, we drop the last three digits, leaving us with the figure '56'. And dividing that by two gives us an approximate hourly rate of £28 per hour for David.

So, now that you’ve figured out your hourly rate of pay, you should be asking yourself: 'Am I too expensive a resource to be doing some of the things – both in and out of work – that I spend time on?' If, for instance, our hypothetical friend David spends 2 hours a week doing his own filing, is this a good use of his time given that he costs his company £28 an hour? Perhaps he’d be better off leaving the task to his secretary.

You can apply the formula to value your leisure time too. If David spends three hours a week washing and ironing his work shirts, his three hours is actually worth £84 a week. So perhaps it wouldn’t be too indulgent to spend just £12 a week to send them to the dry cleaners to get them laundered and pressed?

As they say in the L'Oreal commercials, 'you're worth it'. But how much are you worth exactly?