Your time isn’t worth what you think it isPosted: March 6, 2014
My time is worth more than this.
Consider how many times you’ve heard this justification. Consider how many times you’ve used it yourself. I know I’ve used it many times myself.
By outsourcing activities, we purchase two things in addition to the actual work done: we purchase skill (in theory) time. I make no claims to being a DIY king. I am constantly in awe of the skills others have managed to acquire. Attempting to acquire certain skills has left me humbled, and has often ended up costing me more money in the end. You should never be ashamed to purchase skill but consider whether you can acquire said skill yourself first. Know your limits, but many projects are inexpensive to bash your head against for a while, especially if you have a learned acquaintance to lean on. Professionals are super-human, they are normal folks just like you, and at one time did have their skillset either.
The purchase you should always question is the purchase of time. Outsourcing advocates will say “my time is worth $100/hour”. Maybe it’s true. But I highly doubt they can earn this hourly wage every conceivable free minute of every day. Even if they could, it wouldn’t be healthy.
Menial tasks aren’t beneath anyone. Line-drying laundry and washing dishes by hand takes more time than the modern appliance-assisted equivalents. We’ve always washed dished by hand, lacking a functional dishwasher, but even when we rebuild (‘remodel’ has a weirdly negative connotation for me) I’m not getting one. I started line-drying our laundry for the cost savings and extra life it lends clothes, but even when we have more money, I’m not going to “get” time back by spending money running a clothes dryer. These tasks are simple, ‘mindless’ tasks, but they’re the very sort of task that helps you practice mindfulness. I focus on the task at hand. My mind is emptied of thoughts. It’s meditative and refreshing. It’s a welcome part of my day, not a chore to get past.
Approach every task in your day like this. It’s not something you have to do to get to the real part of your day. It’s only something that cuts into your relaxation time if you let yourself think of it that way.
Doing things yourself doesn’t cost you any money in lost income, and purchasing time by paying someone else to do it is a false economy.