Once you have some track record, you can turn your time data into money data. When you finally know how much time you are working, and you know how much money you are making, you can attribute a monetary value to your time.
For example, in September 2022, I made $5,200 and worked about 148 hours. That makes my hour worth $35 – before taxes.
Once you establish such a metric, you can make some VERY informed decisions. For example, I sell my time for north of $100, at least three times more than the metric shows.
Why? Because I count toward my 148 hours several hours on calls with my team, about 15 hours of writing, admin stuff, managing my calendar, and so on. None of those activities directly produces revenue. Thus, I need to make much more for my billable hours.
Also, when someone asks me for a favor, for an hour of my time, I know they are asking me for a $35 gift. Sometimes, for someone, I may be inclined to be generous at this scale. But most often, especially for strangers with their agenda, the answer is NO.
And the best use of this metric: if I decide to waste my time instead of working, I can attach a price tag to reading news on the Internet, browsing on social media, watching YouTube or a series on Netflix.
A two-minute article about the latest craze of Putin costs me over a dollar.
One episode of a TV series costs me between $20 and $35.
One more application of this metric for me: if I don’t like doing something, I quote a very hefty multiple. For example, consulting on somebody else’s book ads is not my favorite thing. I name $140 and more for one hour of that. Writing a book description? I hate this! That’s $200.
If my prospects won’t accept my proposition, I’m totally fine with that. I didn’t want to do it anyway. If they will accept, the higher price tag will sweeten the deal for me – and I will be less likely to procrastinate on something I don’t like doing.
The Ultimate Competitive Advantage
However, the real value of tracking your time is not just increased awareness about how you spend your time, or getting to know how much your hour is worth.
Those benefits, and many others, are coming down to just one thing: you become more effective. You can squeeze more actions and value from your time.
This is the ultimate competitive advantage. You see, time is the ultimate currency. Every single human being on this planet has only 24 hours a day. If you can produce more in the same number of hours, you are gaining the advantage.
It doesn’t end with your personal productivity.
Giving an example is not the best management method… it is the only one. “– J.-Robert Ouimet
If you are more efficient and productive, if you know how to better leverage your time, your team will become more effective and productive. In my book advertising agency, everybody is tracking their time for the sake of their own productivity. Yes, I have the access to their timesheets, but I use it maybe several times a year, mostly out of pure curiosity.
There is nothing in business that leverages stronger than time efficiency. Even marginal gains translate into huge ones with scale. If you have 100 people in your company, and they are 2% better with their time than your competitors, you gain two additional “employees” – for free!
This is why small, nimble companies can compete with big and inefficient ones. When your people are much better than the competition in utilizing their time, they are working faster and better than an army of corporate almost-slaves.
I had been working in big companies for over 18 years. I know firsthand how much time is wasted there on red tape, useless meetings, and water cooler chats. Eliminate or limit those time-wasters, get several people who are good at managing themselves in time, and 10 people can easily work as much as 15 or 20 people in the corporate setup.
And your people will be good at time management, because they will be mimicking you. Remember Ouimet’s quote, your example is the ONLY management method you actually possess.