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Time Is Money – Are You Making The Most Of Your Time?

December 18, 2013

Posted by Simon Misiewicz on 18th December 2013

Would you like to earn more money than you are now?

or

Would you like to make more money but work less?

There are many people that work tirelessly and look back at the weekend and challenge themselves “have I done all that I can?” Asking this question week on week can be exhausting, especially if your goals are not being achieved.

Here are some examples where people spend more time on activities than they should, resulting in less productivity and opportunities to earn money.

– doing things that you are not good at
– doing things because you will not pay someone else
– doing things that are not necessary

Let us hit each point one at a time:

Doing things you are not good at

I am not very good at reading contracts or writing them. As a result it takes me three times longer than it would someone that is a legal practitioner or my wife Louise, who works in Procurement. Not only that, there are going to be errors contained on the contracts that I write. This leads to further questions from the person receiving the contract and time for me to review work and make corrections.

How many times have you gone back over your work after you have completed it? How much does this cost you?

I remember when I was writing a programme at work to automate an administrative task. This took me over three days to compete. It worked very well…..for a time. However, there were a lot of tasks that I should have done but took a back seat because of my focus. Was this a genuine good use of my time? No.

If you do the things that you are a good at then you are likely to do the work to a good standard and the amount of errors and re-work is minimised. Not only that, but as a result, the quality of work reflects who you are and the company that you represent.

Pay others to do work

How much do you value yourself? Think about this for a moment and write that number down.

For example Susan values herself to be worth £100,000 as a solicitor (conveyance of course). This is equivalent to £1,923 per week and therefore provides an hourly rate of £48 (assuming a 40 hour week – as entrepreneurs this is more like 60).

Susan at the end of the week writes down all the tasks that she undertook and they were as follows:

– 5 hours emails (filtering out spam and waste of time correspondence)
– 10 hours driving
– 5 hours administration (booking meetings, sending out documentation)
– 20 hours client facing work

Having looked at the above Susan spent just 50% of time working on clients that can be billed for; 50% of her time she could not bill for.

Is the 5 hours of administration worth £240? Probably not. If she employed someone at £15 per hour even for 20 hours she would pay out just £300. However, she would be able to charge her clients the additional hours that she had recovered

The same could be applied to driving. At the time of me writing this article I am on a train. The travel cost is £100. I could have driven at a cost of £25 for my three hour journey saving me £75. However, in that time I was able to do one hour of client work, addressed some office tasks and write some articles for my clients adding value to them. Is it worth me relaxing and paying a little more for the train journey? Of course it is.

Do only what matters

I have to be honest, I used to do an awful lot of work unnecessarily before I started to write down my goals and tasks to achieving them.

Have you ever looked back at your task list and congratulated yourself for crossing many of them off? How many of them really helped you achieve your long term goals?

Think back to your long term goals. Those big fat hairy goals that you set in January but changed them, half way through the year because you thought they were unrealistic? But, were they unrealistic or was there a lack of focus on the tasks that would have helped you achieve those goals?

Write down your goals and keep them visible at all times. I know people think I am mad that I stick flip chart paper on my walls of the office and home but it keeps me focused. Every time that I think of a task I ask myself “Is this helping me to achieve my goals?” If not then the task is not prioritised and delegated out.

Why am I writing all this? Simply put, time is money and your time is valuable. I help clients make more money and pay less tax. The fundamental element is that you can only save tax if you make enough money for you to be taxed. The more you focus on the important goals and tasks, the more money you are likely to make.



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Telephone: 0115 939 4606
Email: simon@optimiseaccountants.co.uk