The Value of Time

By Mike Myatt, Chief Strategy Officer, N2growth

Don't waste Time...Time; it’s the most valuable commodity we have, it’s the only thing we all have in common, yet it’s how we choose to spend it that defines and differentiates us as individuals. Even though time is a key success metric, I am always amazed at how many executives don’t manage it as such. Time is indeed a precious and finite commodity, and those professionals that manage it wisely are those that achieve the greatest results. Show me an executive that doesn’t leverage time to its highest and best use and I’ll show you an executive likely to be replaced by one that can. In this week’s column I’ll examine the value of time.

The proper understanding of how to use time directly impacts income. You see, time doesn’t slow, nor can it be accelerated or recovered; it can only be wasted, invested, or leveraged. I often hear people espouse the axiom “don’t work hard, work smart.” I have a bit of a different take on the subject as I work very hard at working intelligently. It was coming to an understanding of these fundamental principles at an early age that have made a tremendous difference in my life as contrasted with many others I’ve encountered along the way.

Whether you are a sales person, professional advisor, entrepreneur, or executive, you only have 24 hours in a day, which consists of 1440 minutes, and when reduced to the ridiculous amounts to 86,400 seconds. If you want to do more, earn more, serve more, influence more, or significantly change the level of your impact in any area, you simply must make more out of the time you have at your disposal. So, my question is this…How well do you leverage your 86,400 seconds?

Have you ever heard someone say they wish there was more time in a day? While I’ve already pointed out that you cannot increase the amount of time in a day, I’ve also said that time can in fact be leveraged if you know how. Some people use only a portion of a full day, while others leverage the entire day, and those who are most productive leverage multiples of a day…Multiples of a day you ask? In my world there are far more than 24 hours in a day…Through making good use of personal time, leveraging staff and technology, outsourcing across different time zones, associating with quality people and organizations, managing risk, and having a laser like focus on highest and best use principles, I estimate that I’m able to average nearly a full week’s work into a single 24 hour period while rarely working more than an average work week on a personal basis. Leveraging time is all about making good choices…are you making good choices?

The first step in making the most out of your time begins with the understanding that time itself is a key success metric. You can either leverage your time, or waste your time. Once you learn how to invest your time wisely, you can then get to a point where you can start to leverage your time into multiples. The first step in making this transition is to maximize personal time by avoiding the most common workplace time-wasters. According to most of the research I’ve read, the following items represent the top 10 corporate time-wasters:

  1. A lack of focus and shifting priorities;
  2. Technology (phone, email, IM, social media, etc.) interruptions;
  3. Lack of planning;
  4. Biting-off more than you can chew (initiative overload);
  5. Drop-in visitors;
  6. Ineffective delegation;
  7. Lack of organizational skills;
  8. Procrastination;
  9. Inability to say “No”, and;
  10. Unproductive meetings. 

Time can either be your best friend or your worst nightmare. Executives that understand how to use time to their advantage accomplish great things, and those who allow time to slip through their fingers don’t. The lesson to learn is to accomplish more through leverage while decreasing personal time commitments. Remember that time is a finite commodity, and once a moment in time has passed it is gone forever.


4 Responses to “The Value of Time”

  1. 1 z moses January 28, 2010 at 11:29 pm

    How are things with you Mike? Well I hope. Best Regards Dean

  2. 3 JC Burciaga January 30, 2010 at 6:38 am

    I am charged with managing the Investment Advisory Services division of one of the largest Texas based commercial real estate operators and by reading this article you have increased the effectiveness of my work productivity already. At times one works hard and smart but at times drifts to find themselves on the proverbial hamster wheel but Mike, by reading your article gets me back on course–thank you for helping me squeeze out more productivity in my 24 hour day!

    We strive to be the best buyer and seller of commercial real estate in Texas! I hope to help all your readers become more successful.

    JC Burciaga

    • 4 n2growthmyatt February 2, 2010 at 9:04 pm

      Hi JC:

      Thanks for the kind words. It’s always nice to hear feedback from readers that have benefited from the thoughts espoused in my blogs, columns, and books.

      Best wishes for continued success JC.


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