Return On Hassle
Putting an hourly rate on your time
May kicks off the start to the busiest time of the year. Weather across the country warms up. People start traveling from coast to coast. Kids are winding down school. Outdoor activities, camps and sports begin.
With it also brings a sense of overload. We have so much we want to do but only so much time. Only so many weeks and weekends to fit all of it in. So we ask ourselves where do we find the time for this and that. How are we going to fit this in? How do I find more time to spend with my family? How and what do I prioritize?
I know this feeling because it was the discussion my wife and I just had this past weekend.
We all struggle with where to properly spend our time. We don’t prioritize what we do. Is this thing you need to do worth your hassle? What’s your time really worth? What’s your hourly rate to determine if this is worth doing, when it takes you away from your priorities?
A quote I really like is from Naval Ravikant.
Set and enforce an aspirational hourly rate. If fixing a problem will save less than your rate, ignore it. If outsourcing a task will cost less than your rate, outsource it. Get comfortable disappointing people whose expectations will eat your life up, one hour at a time.
I think of wealth now as being rich in time. Having the time to do what you want, when you want and with who you want.
Spending your money to better improve your life and those around you has lasting benefits. Saving time now may allow yourself to workout and improve your health. Saving time now to spend more time with your family. Saving time now to achieve a goal you’ve set for yourself.
Make decisions or changes that automate or eliminate future decisions. Thus saving you time to focus on your priorities. Your family, career, goals etc. What are your priorities?
To see where all your time is going, conduct a time study. Where is all your time going each day, week and month?
Write down all the activities and things that are eating up your time and not allowing you to achieve your priorities and goals. This shows you how your time is being spent.
Here are some examples of activities and the thought processes they can bring.
Cleaning and laundry
Mowing the lawn and shoveling snow
Ordering something online that will arrive in a few days on your doorstep versus the time and cost of gas to drive somewhere to pick it up.
Trips to the bank or post office
Cleaning up and putting new mulch in your landscape.
Spending the money and the minutes it takes to go through the car wash versus all the time of washing it yourself.
Hiring a financial advisor instead of stressing and spending time handling all your own investments.
Spending all the time researching investments versus just investing in index funds.
Hiring an accountant to take care of your taxes versus trying to tackle them on your own.
Hanging Christmas lights
Managing physical rental properties versus just investing in REITs.
Having food delivered versus getting in your car and driving to go pick up food to then just bring it back home.
I could go on and on with examples. Everyone’s list varies. But you get the point.
Now how many of those activities do you hate having to do and are taking time away from your priorities?
It’s not always return on investment. Think in terms of return on hassle. Adjust your line of thinking to reflect how much hassle is this going to cause me?
Now add your time on top of that. What’s your time worth? Put an hourly wage on your time. $100, $250, $1,000 an hour. What value do you place on your time?
The next time you’re considering if something is really worth your time. Ask yourself, is this really worth my time if I value it at ($ per hour)? How much time is this activity taking away from me? What’s worth doing?
If you could remove a certain activity or activities that you hate doing, what is that worth to you? Worth to you in time? Worth to you in reduced hassle? Worth to you in happiness? Worth to you so you can focus on your goals and priorities?
Eliminate the time sucking things you hate doing. Find alternative ways to do them. Hire or outsource to a company, service or others to help or do them for you.
Prioritize the time in your life. We only have so much of it. Spend it on the things and with the people that are truly important to you.
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