Are you maximizing your potential and have in place iron-clad systems to ensure you achieve your financial goals? The fastest, easiest, simplest, and most direct way to achieve your goal is to master the mechanics of time management, and further transcend that to time mastery. Time mastery requires that you develop laser-like focus on what you want for your life. If you master time, you’ll be more productive, happier, energized, driven, wiser and fulfilled. This piece guides you on how to maximize your productive time and join the league of the super achievers. The fastest way to join the super-achievers is the learn the hacks I will reveal in this piece. It begins and ends with time mastery.
You probably have attended a couple of training programs on time management where a fast talking consultant taught you about the latest ”strategies and tactics” on how to manage your time well. Your time training guru must have researched far and wide to ensure nothing, absolutely nothing, was left out. You got to learn about ABC prioritization, MSC scheduling, the keeping of daily ”to-do list”. You got to learn the key dimensions that determine activities: ”urgency” and ”importance” as the late Dr. Stephen Covey elaborated in his The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
To ensure the message sunk in, you were exposed to principal time wasting habits such as procrastination and what you should do about it. For added effect, you must have been taught the Pareto Principle and forewarned to always be forearmed against trivial things that don’t add much value to your job. To ensure you were one of the top ten best time managers of your generation, you must have read a couple of books on your own, and listened to a copious number of time management tapes, learning along the way how to handle uninvited visitors, unsolicited mails and how to conduct meetings. All you have learnt so far still leaves unanswered the question: WHAT IS THE WORTH OF AN HOUR OF YOUR TIME?
To some, what I am about to reveal will be the epiphany they have been waiting for to take their performance to a whole new level. To others, it will just make them far better at time management than they ever thought was possible. You will gain rapid promotion at your workplace if you apply one tenth of what you are about to learn to your daily routine, and make it the new way you live your life. Even though I have been teaching time management for over twenty years I didn’t know back then some of the things I am about to reveal to you now. As a matter of fact, years back, I took the entire management cadre of what is now Unity Bank (then called Habib Bank) on time management. Everyone, from the rank of manager up to managing director attended, paving the way to my status as a time management guru. A few years later, after I joined Diamond Bank, I designed time tracking logs for one of the branches in Apapa, but after a few weeks the logs were abandoned because no one wanted to know how badly s/he was managing his or her time. Even back then I didn’t have the answer to the question: WHAT IS THE WORTH OF AN HOUR OF YOUR TIME?
Well that may not be entirely correct. I had an answer, but it was the wrong answer. It’s the same wrong answer that guides how most organizations allocate their time resources. For instance, a typical work day consists of 8 hours, so if your salary is say $1million per month, viola your hourly rate is approximately $4,166 Naira, which is just another way of saying divide $1million by 30 and then divide the figure you’ve got by 8. Nothing could be further from the truth, but that is how most people rate their time. They simply divide their monthly pay by the average number of hours they work per month to arrive at their hourly rate. As I said earlier, nothing could be further from the truth. No consulting company like Accenture, KPMG, or PWC would dare do that and that is why they charge sky-high rates for any assignment you contract them to do. Have you ever wondered why top consulting companies are so costly and can be afforded only by the fortune 1,000 companies? It’s because they value or rate their time differently. Maybe I’m jumping the gun here so we need to retrace our steps a little back, while still seeking the right answer to the question: WHAT IS THE WORTH OF AN HOUR OF YOUR TIME?
Do you know that there is no such thing as free time? The time you spend (yes that’s the right word, because there is a cost to every second), watching Nollywood movies, surfing the net, chatting on Facebook, pinning on Pinterest, tweeting on Twitter, and the like are not spent wisely because you have not been paid for it. In fact, you have robbed yourself, and robbed your life. I don’t subscribe to the word waste when it’s applied to time because you cannot waste something that you cannot control. If I may ask you, can you store time for use another day? Can you warehouse time and bequeath it to your children, spouse, brothers and sisters? Since time moves only in one direction, philosophers say time is life. When you spend time unwisely, you are living your life unwisely and one day your time will run out and when you look back it will dawn on you that you have been a failure. A failure is anyone that has not used his God-given potentials fully and wisely. Make every minute of your life count. I believe it’s for this reason that Dan Kennedy, the information marketing guru, has set his clock in reverse order as a constant reminder to himself how many days, hours, minutes, and seconds he has left on this earth so he can ensure every second counts. One more time, there is no free time unless it is the time you have specifically allocated to a particular activity, and in that case, you should attach a cost to it. It’s not free. So ask yourself, how much does spending all my time in church, watching Nollywood movies, and listening to music on iTunes cost me, as you seek the answer to the question: WHAT IS THE WORTH OF AN HOUR OF YOUR TIME?
You will be successful to the extent to which you use your time productively. Since the yardstick for measuring success in a free economy is money in the bank, we can substitute the word wealth for success here. In effect, we can say, you will be wealthy to the extent to which you use your time wisely. Notice that we have introduced the concept ”productive” in this paragraph. You must know what your productive time is worth and should be worth, otherwise you won’t be able to make effective decisions. A recent study of Fortune 500 CEOs estimated that they had between 28 to 38 productive minutes a day. Just 28 to 38 productive minutes a day! Rich Schefren the internet marketing expert defines productive time as ”time devoted strictly to generating income.” It’s like football, or soccer. The only productive time or move in soccer is a shot that results in a goal. The same applies to boxing, and all other sports for that matter. The only productive time in boxing is a punch that knocks down the opponent. As in sports, so it is in business. At this time you might be tempted to ask, what of practice time? Practice time, yes, is not productive time because practice time does not result in cash entering your bank account. Practice time is necessary of course as it is what will toughen the muscle that will lead to that knock-out punch, breathtaking goal or the winning strategy, but it’s not productive time. You can equate practice time to maintenance time. It is there, it is necessary, but it is not productive time. That is the way it is. Productive time is time that results in goal, that is, money in the bank. Having followed me up to this point, let me now reveal the answer to the question: WHAT IS THE WORTH OF AN HOUR OF YOUR TIME?
You must understand this concept of the worth of an hour of your time, because it is the only thing that will enable you develop focus and discipline to achieve your financial goal. No matter your age, gender, race and what you do, you need to understand the worth of an hour of your time. Salespeople, bankers, project managers and such like that have huge targets set for them as part of their performance appraisal, particularly need to master the fine points of the worth of one hour of their time. Let’s say for an example that your income or deposit or sales target for the year is $10,000,000 and after one quarter, that is three months, you have only managed to make $400,000. It means if you continue at that trend, you will be making just a paltry $1,600,000 at the end of the year, a whopping $8,400,000 short of your target. At this point you do what John Reese, a guru in setting financial goals, recommends you do. John recommends that you multiply your quarterly figure of $400,000 by 4 which result to $1,600,000. You now subtract the $1,600,000 from your goal of $10,000,000, which results in $8,400,000, your shortfall. You now take 10% of the shortfall of $8,400,000, which is $840,000, and add to the $1,600,000, which results to $2,440,000. This amount, $2,440,000 is your new short term goal. To determine the worth of an hour of your time, we need to do some additional calculations, but don’t be scared, it’s as simple as working through the park.
Since there are a few unknowns, to arrive at the answer to the question: WHAT IS THE WORTH OF AN HOUR OF YOUR TIME?, we need to make some assumptions. Let’s assume as follows:
|You wish to make in the next 12 months $10,000,000||$10,000,000|
|You work 6 days per week||6|
|You’re self employed so you work 10 hours per day||10|
|You work 2 productive hours per day 2||2|
|The number of your productive hours per week is 12||12|
|The number of weeks per year you work is 50||50|
|The number of productive hours you have for the year is 600||600|
|Your target income per hour is $16,666.66||$16,666.66|
|Divided by 60 you get what you must generate per minute $277.77||$277.77|
An hour of your productive time is therefore worth $16,666.66. What that means is that you have to pull in $33,333.32 per day (remember we have assumed you have only two productive hours per day), six days a week, fifty weeks of the year if you are to meet your financial goal of $10,000,000. The richest people in the world and the most successful professionals calculate their productive time that way and guard it jealously. You hardly find them engaged in frivolities.
From the above example, you will realize that, if you work for only 5 days a week while all other assumptions remain the same, your hourly rate will jump to $20,000, while your per minute rate will amount to $333.33 meaning you’ll have to work far harder. However, the richest people in the world don’t just work harder, they work simpler. Some gurus would say that the super rich work smarter, which tends to suggest that the rest of us that are not yet in the league of the super rich work ”dumber”. Well, is dumb not the opposite of smart? Really, they work simpler, that is, they simplify their operations by putting in place systems that make things go almost on auto pilot. These systems rest on three pillars.
One: They create systems that create products.
Two: They create systems that market products.
Three: They create systems that build scale.
These three activities, which put together, are all about putting in place systems that make money work for you, and not you for money, are what gurus refer to as leverage and scalability. If you want to make it really big, you must learn to leverage and scale your operations. There is no other way.