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What’s Your “Time Currency”?

We’ve all heard the benefits of work-life balance, but for most professionals, the work-life balance seesaw swings heavy toward the side of work.

As an executive, I was the same way. Because of a deep-seated “not good enough” belief, I used work to prove I was indeed good enough. When I became an entrepreneur, it got worse, and I also became obsessed with the need to be perfect, which made me a miserable CEO.

When I started what is now Share On Purpose, I vowed to do many things differently, including how I managed my time. This included 3-day weekends every other month, and vacations at least twice per year. As I slowly mastered the art of maximizing time, I then made a commitment to teach every associate how to maximize their time so they can invest it in activities that bring them joy.

Here are 3 Power Tips for Maximizing Time:

  • Everyone has a “time currency” meaning, they prefer to do certain things with their free time. The first step is to know what you will do with any time that you’re able to get back in your day, such as spending time with family, learning something new, a hobby, etc. The motivation is not the time, but the currency – or what you’ll do with the extra time.
  • Time isn’t something we spend; instead, it is something we should invest. To better understand investing time; divide your annual compensation by 2,080, which are the number of hours in a year. Then divide that in half. This is how much every 30-minutes is worth. So, let’s say you make $50,000 a year. Per hour that’s $24. But, for a 30-mnute block, it’s $12. Now, look at how you’re investing every 30-minute time block. Did you get $12 worth of value from those 30 minutes? When you look at time as an investment, you’ll begin to challenge how your time is spent. You’ll learn that you can accomplish more in Power Meetings (15 – 30 minutes) versus 1-hour meetings.
  • Learn how to “Time Chunk” – although your brain is an organ, not a muscle, it works very similar to a muscle in that:
    1. Your brain gets tired if you overwork it, so taking short time breaks, as well as regular days off and/or vacation, is critical.
    2. If you use one side of your brain more often (left brain/right brain), it is likely you are actually losing brain productivity.
    3. If you multi-task frequently, it is likely you are actually losing brain productivity.

So, treating your brain like a muscle means that you need to balance your work schedule to “chunk” like activities (right brain/left brain) where possible, and take frequent breaks.

At Share On Purpose, we teach every associate how to maximize their time so they can invest it in their passions and in working towards advancement goals. We encourage team members to ease into Mondays, and try to stop work early on Fridays, whenever possible, to ensure that work remains enjoyable.
We’ve also learned that allowing our team members to work virtually increases their productivity, and consequently, we’ve built a virtual work model for every one of our brands. Although we have a corporate office, which we use for meetings and training sessions, most days our associates work from home, and are free to maximize their overall natural rhythms.

So, if time is important to you, and if you know your time currency, figure out what every 30-minute block is worth, and start maximizing your time. Once you do that, work-life balance becomes much easier!