Great question raised this morning at the Birmingham Social Media Cafe – “Do you value your time?”
It sparked an interesting debate about the perceived value of your time. Do you give it away freely? Do you calculate free-time in terms of lost opportunity? Is your time worth more or less to you than to your clients?
In a service sector, time is what I sell. If I am not charging for it then by default I am giving it away. How much can I afford to give away before I start to devalue it?
As ever, it’s a compromise. I need to give a bit away to “show what I’m selling”. The time that I choose to invest in networking needs to have some ROI.
I was reminded today that time spent with some people is priceless.
I had an email from an ex-colleague yesterday who, in reply to my question asking how they were, replied “peddling faster than ever”.
While glad that they are “busy”, and apparently still enjoying the challenge of their work, I was left wondering whether the extra effort being used was resulting in extra output and benefit to the organisation.
I can still clearly recall the story from years ago, when I worked at IBM, when an employee under threat of redundancy started working every hour he could – to improve his chances of being kept on. Sadly, he was one of the many 100′s (1,000′s?) who lost their jobs, and I suspect one of the main reasons he went was because he had failed to understand that it’s not inputs that matter, it’s outputs. His extra work did not increase his contribution and value to the company.
We have to focus on what difference our work makes, which is a bit more complicated than just working differently (or harder).