By Suziey KN
The Reverend’s daughter

How valuable is your time? How much is that second of your life worth? How much would it translate into if turned into a minute or an hour? How much are you paid?

Many of us are paid less than a hundred shillings per hour, not because we dont have the skills and competence, but because we dont know the real value of our time to be able to negotiate for a fair return on investment that is commensurate with their value. Of course, value is quantifiable in terms of results or positive change that you introduce within an agreed context.

You determine the results or change that you want to make and subsequently estimate the monetary or social value to attach to the time spent. There has to be a return on investment (ROI) or a social return on investment (SROI) on your time.

The rich, and I dont mean those who steal from public coffers, but the real rich who have worked their way to affluence and wealth, have a high currency value on their time. It is the reason why they cannot allow themselves to do things that dont matter, as each of their second counts. They cannot afford to waste it.

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Seriously, if we all understood this principle, we would get rid of the people wasting their time and that of others. If we valued our time, we would make sure that a minute spent talking to someone would translate into change for you or them. I have gained great value by spending a few minutes talking to a stranger than I have sometimes with a colleague, who just wanted to talk about office politics. I have gained great insights sometimes talking to a child than I have with an adult who only wanted to talk about the political divide, as opposed to talking about how we could take advantage of the opportunities presented by the declining economy brought about by the same bad politics.

We need to really choose whom we spend time with and ensure that when we meet up and have that conversation, even at family gatherings, there is something good that can come out of it. Family meetings can actually be the best place where ideas are nurtured and grown for the family as well as individual members. Most of the thriving businesses that we see around were once a family outfits or still are, having come from minds that knew and believed in the value of time. Time spent on things that add no value to your life or the world should be an absolute NO!

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So, could you grab that calculator and list all your personal earnings from whatever sources? Check your total monthly earnings. Divide that by the number of days per month, then per week, per day, per hour and on to a minute. How much are you worth in a minute? What of that second of the minute of your time? Is it less than $1 (which is Ksh106)? Are you happy with the figure you see? Is there something you should be doing to make your time more valuable? Look at the time spent on your non-currency items. Is it time spent teaching your children how to bake, or sew a garment, offering some emotional support, life guidance, or any other life skills? What would be the cost of paying someone to teach them the same life-skills? Make that your SROI value. Find how much that time it is worth and consider it the value of the time spent teaching your child. If you are not happy with the figure you see, change your game!

If you find yourself spending time just watching movies, talking about non-issues, and so on, then remember that is time wasted. Avoid such time wasters and instead focus on things that add value to you and others always. Could you spend those extra hours you spend sleeping during the weekend to bake a cake or some scones or biscuits that you could sell or gift someone who needs their day brightened? Could those hours spent on the couch watching movies be worth more if you got a book on self-improvement or how to grow a business or expand your current one?

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You can cost your time, and I think it makes both sense and cents to look at things this way.

Yes, the time I have spent writing this has been valued, too.
Now back to work 🙂

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