What is the value of time? That is the question posed in the opening video I use for my workshops on time management. And it still inspires me every time I watch it. (View the video clip on

Comparing time to money

What appeals to me most about this video is the comparison of time and your bank balance. When we view time in a similar way to money, we move away from the notion of “wasting” time and “spending” time and more towards the concept of “investing” time.

In the financial context, you “spend” money on something tangible. A new car, a pair of jeans, a new laptop, office rental or materials. Typically, things you “spend” money on get used, depleted or depreciate. But when you “invest” money in something, you would expect to get a “return” on the investment. You invest in the stock market, property, training employees, IT software or shares in a business. Here, you expect to get out more than you put in. It’s about investing in the short term for long term gain.

Similarly, we tend to “spend” time on doing things that fill our day, when we ought to be focusing on “investing” time in tasks or projects that will lead to long term benefits and returns. For example, if you “invest” the time to train your team to take on more responsibility, this will free you up to work ON your business rather than IN it… and the time you gain will outweigh the time you invested in the training.

How you think about time

This simple shift in terminology will help you view time management differently. You shouldn’t “spend” time with your kids, you should “invest” time with them. Similarly, if you view business meetings as an investment in time rather than a way to spend your time, you will insist on a productive outcome that moves the business forward.

It’s useful to determine the value of your time by working out your hourly rate. What do you earn per hour? And how much of your time do you “spend” in traffic, meetings, admin, tasks you could delegate to another team member, reinventing the wheel, putting out fires? How could you “invest” this time more profitably?

This simple mindshift in the way you view your time has the potential to make you more productive, profitable and happy.

Just as a financial advisor can help you invest your money to grow your wealth, so a business coach helps you invest your time to grow your business. Before you waste more time thinking about it, give me a call and let’s chat…


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