How Much is Your Time Really Worth?

This is going to be one of the shorter posts I write on this blog, but you shouldn’t take this question or topic lightly.  Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve found myself busy with my “real work” (i.e. 9 to 5 job) and enjoying the summer outside of work.  When this happens (this isn’t the first time and won’t be the last), my online work and business tends to suffer.

It’s easy to brush it off and say, “I’ll get to that later” or “I’m not working on anything urgent” but if you really sit down and think about it, your time may be more valuable than you think.  How much is your time really worth?

As I mentioned, this post is going to be short and sweet, and it’s the first post I’ve written in over a week (which is rare on this blog), which is a reflection of how busy I’ve been.  I don’t like when I can’t blog at least once per week, and usually when my blogging time suffers, so do all of my other projects.

This post is a reminder to myself (and you) to keep your goals in mind and the true value of your time.  To illustrate what missing one day could do to your bottom line, I’ll give you an example of a site that I essentially built in less than a day (~6 hours), 8 months ago (it’s one of my Amazon niche sites).

Between Amazon and Adsense, I’ve earned $147 since it was built.  Keep in mind, the site wasn’t ranking in Google for 4-5 months. Also keep in mind, this site could continue to earn money for years.  I wouldn’t be surprised if it easily clears $1,000-2,000 eventually.  All of that, for roughly 6 hours of work.

The bottom line is, even if you don’t feel like your time is valuable or you feel you can put a non-urgent project off for a week or a month, you’re missing out on a ton of potential.

What do you think?

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41 Responses to “How Much is Your Time Really Worth?”

  1. You should always put a price on your own hours. Most people are reluctant to do this, but it’s an important exercise.

    I guess that the niche sites you’re building are fairly simpel, but I find that I also has to use “mental energy” besides just the actual work.

    I have a muse that I’m currently only spending a couple of hours on each week (and making aprox $2000 per month on), but I find myself also thinking about this even when I’m not doing anything directly related to it…..

    So I’m currently looking into selling this (it’s targetted the Danish market, so please don’t contact me regarding this :)) simply to free up the energy to focus on other projects.

    Well… just my 2 cents of rambling :)

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    I definitely get what you’re saying about the “mental energy” used in addition to the actual energy it takes to do work.

    I feel the same way with this blog – even if I only spend a handful of hours each month writing new posts, I often find myself thinking during the week, “what am I going to write?” or “what happens if I don’t have time to write this week?”

    As for my smaller niche sites however, I mostly take the “set them and forget them” mindset. I’ll revisit them periodically to check on earnings and see if they need more backlinks, but otherwise, I really don’t spend any time thinking about them (which is a nice benefit to the smaller niche sites).

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  2. Putting a value on my time is one of the big reasons why I’ve taken the mindset of doing “most valuable actions” each day.

    I try to keep everything to a minimum of 5 tasks but those 5 HAVE to be ones that either build an asset or has a direct monetary return.

    Before, I noticed I would spend large chunks of my day just dillying around but now, with the 5, I can hammer out the big work and the time left over can still go to the social activities in the work but they aren’t a big distraction like before :)
    Murray Lunn recently posted… How to Start a Niche Online Business: Developing your Online Business Idea

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    Yeok Heng Reply:

    Murray, I like your approach. Mindset is key of success. Given a make money method to two newbies with two different mindsets. One might success and another might fail. It’s all about mindset.

    I always aware of how powerful mindset can change things but what is the key to have a strong mindset? How did you keep mindset of doing “most valuable actions” each day??

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Great comment, Murray. Focusing on the “critical” actions is key. I think part of my problem is that I may identify 5 “most valuable actions” that I need to complete in a day, and may only get around to doing one, if any.

    Obviously, a big part of that is having to balance side projects with my 9 to 5 job, so that’s something that will always get in the way (unless I don’t have it one day!).

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  3. I find it difficult to want to focus on work when I look outside and the sun is shining. Since I work from home, and my work is not real time sensitive for the most part (ie I don’t hold regular office hours for people to contact me), it makes it far easier to escape with my daughter to the park for a while and relax.

    I think putting a price on your time is all relative to what you want to accomplish today, this week, this month and so on. Right now, my time with my daughter is priceless and it’s not something I can recover. I can always work at night or work when she is sleeping, but I can never go back in time to be there when she discovers something new.

    Considering that you have a day time job already, I wouldn’t be too hard on yourself about not spending a lot of time on the blog. However, in one of my recent blog posts, I mention that unless you challenge and push yourself, you will never grow.

    Keep that in mind if you find yourself having some drinks in the sun too often.

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    There seems to be a fine line between enjoying life and pushing yourself hard, even though the line probably should be a lot wider. In your case, it absolutely makes sense to spend time with your daughter whenever you can, and in the right situations.

    For me, my free time is primarily spent enjoying time with my girlfriend, because that’s what I like to do. It’s hard to ever put work ahead of that, especially when I don’t *need* the money, given that I work a regular job during the day.

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  4. Wow, earned that much as well as accomplished a lot in just 6 hours. I have seen the site, very interesting topic. I am questioning my productivity lately. I feel I can be faster and provide quality output as well. Great advice on knowing the value of my time and keeping my goals in mind.
    Betty recently posted… loophole in female psychology

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    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks for the comment Betty!

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  5. I agree that we should put price on our hours…Especially when you are a professional and a busy person…
    Clark Minn recently posted… How to Pick the Best Diet Program for You

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    Eric G. Reply:

    In theory, it makes sense, but it’s very difficult to calculate that price. :)

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  6. I think it is about the everyone goal. I work online 20-25 hours/week and i earn 150-180$, that’s 6 to 9$/hour, isn’t too much but they are my money and i can do anything i want with them. My goal is to earn 25$/hour, 100$/day, 3.000$/month. What is you goal?
    Adrian recently posted… Find Free Shed Plans Online

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    Eric G. Reply:

    My overall goal is to probably earn $100k/year (i.e. income from my 9 to 5 job + online earnings), but I haven’t broken it down anymore specific than that yet.

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  7. I just came back from a holiday and wrote a few good posts there. Mainly because I wasn’t on the “clock” sort of speak at home and could just relax and take my sweet ass time while sipping on a corona… (just thought I would give you a visual :))

    But estimating your time is the foundation of outsourcing. Do you want to do it yourself, or let someone else do it while you work your own work.
    Ralph recently posted… 10 LinkedIn Traffic Secrets Exposed

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    Eric G. Reply:

    Outsourcing definitely plays a crucial role in how you manage your time – I guess my struggle has been with the tasks that I don’t feel I can outsource yet. Thanks for the comment, Ralph.

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  8. If you are fully behind a project, I think you think about it more than the direct time you put into it. I’ve been known to actually dream about those projects…sad, I know. Then to put a financial value on that time, then you are talking about something else entirely….so easy to undercut yourself.

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    Eric G. Reply:

    In way, I think it’s good to think about a project (or “dream” as you say) because it does show you’re passionate/dedicated to it. At the end of the day, as long as all of that thinking turns into something productive, it’s probably a good thing.

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  9. It’s definitely important to put some type of a tangible value on your time. Even if you don’t break it down specifically to a dollar per hour amount, even recognizing something like “what I’m doing really isn’t very important and it isn’t making me money” and then switching to a more high result activity. Even doing that much can make a big difference, IMO.
    Master Dayton recently posted… Freelance Writing Opinion: Why HubPages Is Finished

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    Eric G. Reply:

    I agree 100%, and sometimes we lose sight of that. Honestly, I often catch myself doing non-value activities simply because I don’t feel like doing the more important and valuable (but less exciting) things.

    [Reply]

  10. It’s true that Time is Money. And when you are starting to realize that you could be earning money with your time and others are taking it away from you … then you begin to realize that you have to start charging.
    Well said Eric.
    Vitaly Tennant recently posted… Top 15 Time Quotes

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    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks for the comment Vitaly!

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  11. Hey Eric, I think that in a past post, you said something to the tune of what we do today can have a dramatic impact in our future. That is in my mind a lot these days and I find that I am more focused than ever these days. So I’m utilizing (almost) every spare moment I have to work on my online projects. I will be hiring a VA hopefully in the next 2 months and that should help free me up a bit at least with the boring tasks.

    But I know what you mean by letting things and tasks slide a little bit. Days become weeks in no time!
    Harlan Yee recently posted… How To Make A TV Commercial Without Shooting Any Video

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    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks for the comment, Harlan!

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  12. Great post, Eric! I have a similar mentality about time. It’s very scarce and also very valuable. It’s critical to force yourself to get the important stuff done, since the time/compound interest factor is so big as well.

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks Ian! I always appreciate the comments.

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  13. I don’t really have problems with my time, i always clear my tasks when they have to be cleared, not sooner nor later.
    i get up in the morning and i mostly know what i have for work that day and how long it would take to finish it.
    Amit recently posted… Forklift Operator Training Schools

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    Eric G. Reply:

    Sounds like you have pretty good time management skills. That’s one of the best ways to set yourself up for success. :)

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  14. This is a question that i’m affraid to answer. I think my time worth exactly the money i get.
    Sam recently posted… What is the Google Search Virus?

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    Eric G. Reply:

    Ultimately, this is the answer. Your time is whatever you get in return for it. Perhaps a better term to look at is “opportunity cost.”

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  15. Time is very important to me, I have a daily schedule that I write usually at the end of the day for the next day of work. Its pretty hard to keep up with what you actually planned the other day but I try my best, because, time is money, projects are money, every second your not doing them its eventually lost money. So yeah, keep up the hard work but don’t exaggerated either, keep it healthy…

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Good points, Christian, and I like the idea of planning the day before.

    [Reply]

  16. I like the perspective you bring to this – it’s similar to my InfoBarrel article writing. A ton of upfront time & effort, but now they pull in a nice chunk of change like clockwork!

    That’s great leverage on 6h of work!
    Andrew Walton recently posted… Don’t Follow Me On Twitter

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    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks for the comment, Andrew. You’ve certainly mastered the art of article writing for passive income, so I know you understand the value of how you spend your time.

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  17. Very true, as there are plenty of important activities that won’t earn you a dime.
    Andrew Walton recently posted… Don’t Follow Me On Twitter

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  18. my priorities are broken down into those that need regular attention and those that need periodic attention. as far as business is concerned, over time one becomes fairly proficient (you’d hope at least) in determining what actions yield the best results. there is a fix amount of time i have for all those priorities combined. i simply go from top to bottom, what gets left out gets left out, but those are tasks/things that i value the least. if one has too many priorities, i’d think it is time to revisit and clean up the list?

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  19. It is necessary to know your worth because in business, time is very important and you should be productive when it comes to managing the time…Thank you for the post you have shared us because I have learned a lot from this…
    Robin recently posted… Aquarama 2011 Exhibition Photos For Your Viewing Pleasure …

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  20. Time is gold, as what people used to say and we have to value it always…
    Angela recently posted… how to grow muscle fast

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  21. We have to use time wisely because we cannot get it back…
    Michael recently posted… Computer Security Software – You Shouldn’t Neglect It

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  22. Right now, I find it hard to maximize my time because I tend to relax more than to work more in order for me to achieve success. Yet, I’m still trying my best to change my life and to improve myself. I’m starting to value my time. Hopefully, I could see some changes soon.
    Maria Pavel recently posted… How to Become a CNA in Canada

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  23. Don’t we all have the need to postpone in our blood? It should be in the dictionary under “human”. I can only imagine how many great things we could accomplish if we kept a solid schedule.
    And i’m sure i lose business opportunities every day because of this, i just don’t like to think about it that much.
    Chris recently posted… LifeSpan Fitness S2 Indoor Cycling Bike Review

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  24. People think that time is valued based on earning money from it. As for me, I do value my time based on how I can balance everything in my life, this includes my social life too. As of now, I’m struggling in improving myself to maximize the worth of my time.
    Greg recently posted… MTD Snow Thrower 123CC 21″ 4 Cycle Review

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