Pretend Your Time is Worth $1,000/Hour and You’ll Become 100x More Productive
How you value your time is how you value your life
“Pretend your time is worth $1,000/hr. Would you spend five of them doing extra work for free? Would you waste one on being angry?” –Niklas Göke
You have very few hours here on on this earth.
Still, many people waste much of their time on pointless, low-quality activities that don’t help them reach their true goals — their mission.
The truth is, most people value their time at far, far less than it’s worth.
They say yes to things they have no business doing. They give away their talents, attention, and effort to others who take, take, take.
They spend hours watching low-quality television and social media when they should be productive and effective.
See, many people could be making a fortune (if they used their time well)…but instead, they give away their time in unproductive ways that leave them broke, unhappy, and stuck.
But what if you placed a high value on your time?
How would that change you? Your life? Your family? Your future?
Imagine that an hour of your time is worth $1,000.
What would your life look like?
What people would you stop putting up with?
What problems would you stop wasting time on?
What things would you stop — and start — doing?
Your results would be incredible. You’d become exponentially more productive, focused, and effective.
“Most people have no clue what they are doing with their time but still complain that they don’t have enough.” -Grant Cardone, NYT best-selling author
“Busyness” Isn’t a Badge of Honor; It’s a Sign of Weakness
“Being busy is a form of mental laziness.” -Tim Ferriss
It takes discipline to not become “busy.”
If you let it, your world and the people around you will take all your time. Your time is not unlike your paycheck; if you don’t budget for things, you’ll have nothing left over by the end of the month.
This is how lives are wasted — by doing thankless work for ungrateful takers that didn’t deserve your time in the first place.
We’re all busy — with work, our families, our friends. It’s not bad to be “busy.” But in the words of best-selling author Jeff Goins:
“The most successful people I know are not busy. They’re focused.”
Are you focused, making tangible action steps towards what truly matters?
…Or are you just “busy?”
When you’re busy, you are on autopilot. You can’t see the hours slipping away, time you’ll never get back.
Wrote the ancient philosopher Seneca:
“Indeed the state of all who are preoccupied is wretched, but the most wretched are those who are toiling not even at their own preoccupations…If such people want to know how short their lives are, let them reflect how small a portion is their own.”
Who’s in charge of your time?
Or everyone else?
Busyness and Stress Are the Enemy
“People are unhappy in large part because they are confused about what is valuable.” -William Irvine
Most people prize “being busy.” They proclaim it with pride, as if it’s a badge of honor.
But for most people, this “busyness” is nothing more than distraction and procrastination from what really matters. They just like feeling busy.
Said author Benjamin Hardy, “Most people lack the confidence to go big. They prefer the dopamine boost of getting lots done, even if they aren’t making any progress.”
For world-class performers, busyness and stress are the enemy. They’re a sign you’re off-track. It means you’ve been lazy and undisciplined, and have let too many unimportant tasks take you away from what really matters.
“Being busy is a form of mental laziness.” -Tim Ferriss
Bestselling author Jeff Goins once wrote, “The most successful people I know are not busy. They’re focused.” Extremely successful people don’t tolerate busywork or distraction. They have crystal clear vision on their goals, and do what they need to do to get there, every single day.
In his landmark book Deep Work, Cal Newport recounts some choice insights on how to develop insanely productive results through removing all distraction and entering flow states:
“Busyness and exhaustion should be your enemy. If you’re chronically stressed and up late working, you’re doing something wrong. Do less. But do what you do with complete, hard focus. Then when you’re done be done, and go enjoy the rest of your day.”
Deep work means absolutely not tolerating distractions and producing monumental quality and quantity in a very short time. This is how you can complete far more with focused efforts than unfocused efforts with far more time.
Do you want incredible productivity?
Then cultivate extreme focus with whatever you do.
If you don’t manage your time, it will manage you.
“When you have less time available for work, you have to make better choices about what to work on (and what not to).” -Tim Metz
As You Think, So You Are
“As a man thinketh, so is he. As he continues to think, so he remains.” -James Allen
You teach people how to treat you.
If you let people know your time is free and low-valued, people will treat it as such.
But if you teach people that your time is expensive, important, and valuable, then people will respond in kind.
What you think is what you become. If you think your time is worth a few bucks an hour, that you’ll begin to act like it. You’ll find yourself saying “yes” to meaningless, pointless obligations.
But if, in your heart, you know your time is valuable…
People will recognize that.
People will respect that.
People will treat you differently.
Wrote author William Irvine:
“People are unhappy in large part because they are confused about what is valuable.”
If you don’t treat yourself and your time with respect, you will become unhappy, resentful, and tired. Your body and mind long for mastery and freedom; you can’t have those things if your time is cheap and easily taken.
You become what you are.
You attract what you look for.
Back in my early days of writing, I didn’t think I was much of a writer. So I spent a lot of time on low-quality activities, like begging other low-tier/no-name bloggers to let me write guest posts.
No one responded to me. I rarely was invited to write. I think people could see how little I valued myself, and didn’t want to promote my message. I don’t even blame them.
Years later, I finally began seeing my time as very important. I began saying “no” to almost everything. I had a mission, and I became unwilling to fill my valuable time with things that wouldn’t help me achieve my goal.
I turned down high-paying, exciting, interesting opportunities…because they weren’t the right fit. In the end, they were all wasting time I needed to focus on my mission.
As you think, so you are.
Treat your time as a valuable commodity, and people will begin to treat it like that, too.
You Can Do Amazing Things, But Only If You Have Time to Do Them
“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.” -Warren Buffet
You probably need to say “no” more.
Every time you say yes to something, it means you’re saying “no” to a dozen other opportunities. The world’s most successful and extraordinary people say no to almost everything, but yes to a few things.
Those few things determine their career, legacy, and livelihood.
Warren Buffet, investor extraordinaire and a net worth of over $70 billion dollars, has said that for every hundred opportunities he is given, he might say yes to 1–2 of them.
Really successful people say no to most things, because most things won’t get them to where they truly want to be.
Steve Jobs also shared this mentality. Decades ago, Jobs was quoted:
“People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully. I’m actually as proud of the things we haven’t done as the things I have done. Innovation is saying no to 1,000 things.”
This process of weeding out the merely “good” for the truly great opportunities is easier when you value your time at $1,000/hour. Anything you can honestly justify doing for $1,000/hour is probably a good thing.
“Living in frenzy is a sign we’ve squandered too much.” -Niklas Goke
In reality, a lot of people are living a frenzied, busy life. They wear their business as a badge of honor, and brag about their full schedules.
Frankly, most people prefer the little dopamine boost of checking boxes on a to-do list than actually getting important work done.
How do you value your time?
Take stock of the things you did this week. How many of them were worthy of $1,000/hour?
How many activities were a true waste of time?
Value your time at what it deserves to be. The higher the value, the more important and productive work you’ll do — and the less trivial and mindless tasks you’ll get caught in.