The other day, I boarded a tricycle on my way home from a meeting. I had gone to discuss organisational training on Personal Finance Management with a firm in Lagos (and, No, I didn’t take a cab.)
The tricycle owner had already picked up a passenger before he picked me up and they had gotten familiar. Now, because I was going in a different direction from the usual route, and the tricycle owner happened to be going in my direction, Passenger 1 asked to be taken further as well.
“Your money na N100, o!” said the driver (Meaning, “You will pay me N100 rather than the agreed N50, because of the extra distance I’m taking you.”)
To which Passenger 1 replied,
“Please, now, take N150.”
Everyone burst out laughing, of course. And, that got me thinking….
It’s an absurdity to place a price on your time and have people asking to pay you higher. Instead, people generally will attempt to question your pricing metrics.
“Why should I pay so much?” “Haba, $350 just to build one website?”
No one will pay more for what they can get for less. One step lower, no one will pay anything for something they can get for free.
The question therefore is: Who has been stealing your time?
Now, if you’re looking to see a list of Dos and Don’ts regarding what to spend time on, let me quickly douse your expectation with this: You are responsible for creating your list!
Here’s what I mean…
“Should I spend 90 minutes watching a football match?”
The answer to that could be:
- Option 1: “Absolutely! I work 10 hours a day, 6 days a week and 1 hour of my time is worth $100. In essence, I have made $6000 this week, exceeding my personal target of $5000/week. The 90 minutes spent watching the match is not only my time to relax, but also time to bond with family members and friends. With the friends in particular, we could go on to do business together. Plus, the game puts me in a certain thinking frequency and I have noticed my best ideas come to me shortly after watching a football match….”
- Option 2: “I dare not! I don’t even feel like my time is productive enough, despite my full-time job. I just know there’s more I could be doing. The 90 minutes is about the same time it will take to be part of an online course, using the same data I could’ve used to watch the match. Afterall, I have only gone along with friends to watch football matches in time past because I was looking to pass time. Deep down, I know that I do not particularly enjoy the noise that comes with watching the match in the company of other people. Come to think of it, who pays the unofficial fans of a football team? Plus, have I developed my skills enough to earn even half of what these players earn…?”
- Option 3: “Occasionally, yes. Some months I am working 14 – 18hrs/day and barely have time to catch my breath before the new day is upon me. At other times, my work schedule is not so heavy and I can fit in several 90-minute football matches into one weekend. Moreso, I need the time to retain my sanity, as I relax in preparation for the hard-driving days…”
Which of the 3 scenarios described above represents your current disposition to a 90-minute football match?
Now, examine each of your daily activities likewise and take position. Whether the time spent on an activity is wasted or is an investment, is more a function of the individual than the activity.
Eleanor Roosevelt has said: “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” I say to you, “No one can waste your time except with your permission.”
LIMER™ Personal Finance Coach