Time seems to have become a four-lettered word in our vocabulary these days.

We don’t have enough of it and we resent wasting it.

At a recent Company of Women meeting we started explore how much our time is really worth. Working back from our financial goals for the year, we estimated what our hourly rate would be.

It was an interesting exercise as many of us had trouble coming up with our revenue/expenditure number, which is telling in itself, let alone working out what our hourly rate would be. But when we did reach the final answer, it was surprising how high it was, which of course, led us to question how we actually use our time.

Suddenly that request to meet for coffee has more meaning. Can you afford it? Time spent with someone who “wants to pick your brains” has a bigger price tag than we first thought and can take you away from other tasks.

It certainly led the group to analyze which groups, meetings and revenue sources generated the best return on investment.   Tracking the source of your client base was also identified as a good use of time, so you can make efforts to get more of the same.

I know when we take part in a trade show, I have set goals of what I want to achieve to justify the expenditure, but not so with one-on-one meetings. Maybe I should, but my inclination is no, as I’d hate to put a price tag on every encounter. Sometimes I meet with someone because I like her and want to help. There ‘s no hidden financial agenda and I am comfortable with that as to have one feels unauthentic.

However, what our discussion reinforced for me is that I am on the right track when I say “no” to some requests for involvement and as I get more protective of my time. Regardless of what my hourly rate may be, I value my time and prefer to reserve it for causes and people that are important to me.

Ironically this week, I received an interesting article We don’t buy things with money, we buy them with hours from our life. The author had calculated how much certain purchases cost us in terms of time. For example, a Grande Starbucks Cappucino may cost us $4, but in time it equates to eight minutes of work, or a 55” Flatscreen TV ($711) equals three days of work. Fascinating.

Regardless of how you track your time, the bottom line is to use it wisely. Make sure at the end of the day, it counts for something.

Anne Day

Anne Day

Company of Women

I have had an eclectic career from running non-profit organizations and being editor of a national magazine, to working for government on women’s issues. In 2003 I launched Company of Women, an organization that supports women in business. A prolific blogger, I also write for the Huffington Post, and several other online publications. I am the author of five books on women and entrepreneurship, and co-author of Good Enough. Embrace who you are. Unleash your brilliance. which is available on amazon.ca In June, 2016 I launched Full Circle Publishing offering one-stop services to get your words out into the world.