Be Honest. You’ve Got No Idea How to Value Your Time

Katherine Ann Byam
Harnessing the Courage to lead
4 min readJan 4, 2021


Have you ever sat down to think about what’s the value of your time to you? I don’t think you have, or you’d spend it differently. Time is your most valuable commodity, as well as your organisations.

The competition for your attention

There are billion dollar industries being raised, funded and scaled everyday to either:

  1. Keep the attention of your time, filling you with enough engagement that keeps you entertained, hooked, or filled with fear of missing out.
  2. Optimise the use of your time, by giving you ways to do every day things quicker and more efficiently and if we are lucky more effectively
  3. Acquire your time, in a trade off for some form of monetary or social reward.

Three alternative valuations

Your time has tremendous value, but that value changes depending on the perspective you take. If you are an employee, your first instinct is to estimate that value with money, but there are many other ways to look at it too. You may consider:

  • Monetary valuation : Basic salary plus bonuses, personal pension contributions from your employer, benefits in kind that you receive — all of this net of taxes, then divide it by your hours of work — the REAL hours you work, not what your contract says.
  • Opportunity Cost valuation: The second option is the opportunity cost of your time. If you were not spending your time in your current vocation, what other vocations could you pursue, and how much could you earn?
  • Purpose valuation: What would it mean to you and the planet, if you could spend your time doing work that contributed to the longevity of our planet, the quality of the air we breathe, and the water that we drink? The education children receive, the hunger you can alleviate or the flora and fauna that you can support to thrive?

How then do we decide?

What’s increasingly clear is that the competition for our attention will increase, and with it will come the need to make increasingly faster yet better decisions. We will be judged both by our decision making agility and decision making quality in equal measure, so we need to be prepared to lay the ground work that will help us make the best decisions in a repeatable way.

Clarity of Focus

What do you really want to achieve, in business and in life? what are the 3 non negotiables for both areas, and what exactly does success look like in those areas for you? This is a key corner stone of your personal and professional development, as everything else flows from where you intentionally, or unintentionally place your focus.

What are your systems?

The best businesses have established playbooks that are continuously improved daily, weekly or monthly. What about your personal playbook? how are you improving your outcomes in a similar way?

We all operate with playbooks, this isn’t the problem. The challenge is are we improving and updating them everyday? When was the last time we reviewed our criteria for making decisions, to see if those criteria are still valid?

Much of our knowledge is being rendered obsolete at a much faster rate than we could have imagined 10 or even 5 years ago. The formula for success that your mentors used to build their careers and outcomes are not fully relevant anymore in today’s reality, so to continue on the same thinking process, is to continue your own decay.

The key here is to develop great systems that support you in continuously evolving your playbook, keeping it fresh, and easy to refer to.


The best focus and systems in the world work only when we execute it. How are you supporting your efforts at consistent daily execution?

Doing this well requires:

  • Time blocking and planning
  • Intentionality in the use of your time
  • Optimising your performance (nutrition, rest, physical and mental activity, sleep)

How I can support you

I have a course available that goes to the core of your systems, which you can find here, currently running in one of Udemy’s discount sales, you can find it here.

Productivity Masterclass for Busy Corporate Professionals

I also have two articles that I’m sure you’ll find interesting here:

Get a GRIP on your business or career using these 5 principles — Dieple

The 5 productivity levers that will level up your productivity and resilience. — Dieple

I’m running personal development month throughout January so follow me here or join my community on Facebook — you can join me here (1) Career Transition-Crafting the Job / life you want with Katherine Ann Byam | Facebook

See you soon!



Katherine Ann Byam
Harnessing the Courage to lead

Author, activist, coach and consultant for innovation and sustainable change. She’s the founder of Dieple Consulting & Where Ideas Launch.