This Isn’t a Good Use of My Time

Many, many years ago, I had a terrible boss. 

Remember that book/movie “The Devil Wears Prada”? She was like that, but without the redemptive story arc.

And one of her favorite phrases to say to me when I didn’t somehow psychically anticipate her every need was, “This isn’t a good use of my time.” 

At that time of my young life, it drove me crazy. I thought she was just an entitled asshole who liked lording her power over me. And… she was. 😉

But at some point you get it.

When people start taking advantage of your “free 15 minute discovery call” and turning it into an hour, demanding coaching and answers most people pay for…
When you spend a full work day trying to fix a broken widget on your website…
When it takes you four or five hours a week to write and publish a blog post…

…You start to realize that your time is valuable.

It took me, literally, years to decide to hire a cleaning service for my home. I felt guilty about it for a whole host of reasons. I thought, “I’m home literally all day, every day. Why can’t I get this done?”

But the truth was, I was struggling to run a business, run a household, and raise a child all at once. (IMAGINE THAT!) I didn’t expect my husband to come home from work every day and just do chores, but I was expecting it of myself. (To be clear, he didn’t expect that of me, either; this was all my own issues!)

So I finally ponied up the $150 or so a month to have our house professionally cleaned every other week.  

It was like the heavens opened and a chorus of angels sang hallelujah!  Suddenly, I could do very minimal upkeep in between cleanings, and I was no longer worried that anything was growing in the shower or having to play “what’s that smell?” 

And the most interesting part is, it takes my cleaning service about 2 hours to do our whole house; and my hourly rate — even back then — was more than $75 per hour. Meaning that if I was taking time away from my business to clean the house, I was losing money.

The same is true when you start thinking about outsourcing your content marketing (or any other task that doesn’t fall in your zone of genius). I’ll never forget getting on the phone with a potential client, talking all about what we could do for her, etc., and having her say she wanted to take some time to think about it. No problem.

But then she emailed me less than an hour later and said, “I’m currently spending about 4 hours a week writing my blogs. If I can book just one more client in the time I save, it will more than pay for your service. (And in theory, I can book 3 or 4!) Sign me up.”

THAT is what clarity looks like.

Because here’s the thing: No one will respect your time if you don’t. 

Think about the 80/20 rule. If 80 percent of your revenue comes from 20 percent of the tasks you do every week, why are you even doing the other tasks? What would happen if you increased those revenue-generating tasks from 20 percent of your week to 80 percent of your week?

The only way to do that is to stop doing the other stuff you’re doing. 

Some things you can quit cold turkey. Sometimes you need to outsource things to a capable team member.

But when you realize your time has value, you’ll stop wasting so much of it on tasks other people can do. 

 

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4 thoughts on “This Isn’t a Good Use of My Time

  1. That was totally me (with the boss from hell and the cleaning issue). Finding the best use of your time is the smarter-not-harder way of working… something I subscribe to very much. 🙂

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