The Value of Time

I will bet each of you at some point have Value of Timethought carefully about whether to take a non-stop flight or one with one or more connections. The reason we are willing to pay more for the direct flight is the value of our time. If we really don’t care how quickly we get there, we might even take a bus or a train. I drive whenever it is less than a 5-hour trip just because of the hassle of parking at the airport, putting up with lines, etc. I also just enjoy “being in control” of my world … perhaps a delusion, but I’m sure you get my point.

Well, there is a rapidly growing industry emerging of people and services that honor the value of your time. These go far beyond the concierge services we have gradually been made aware of. If you are following this trend with interest, you will really enjoy this recent Wall Street Journal article.

But, that got me thinking. If we really do value time, why are we so willing to squander it in corporate environments these days? It seems that everyone is in almost meaningless meetings all day long. It seems that not making a decision is deemed less costly than making one. I hear every senior officer in the utility industry seeking to encourage innovation in his or her management teams.

How can they expect that when they tolerate indecision … another way of simply wasting time?

We have all the time we are going to have. It is simply a matter of what we do with it. I guess I live by my father’s advice to me about making decisions: don’t make one unless and until you feel you are more likely to be right than to be wrong … and only look back on your decisions the same way … you are going to make some wrong ones … correct them and move on.

Another analogy I like to use comes from my fishing: If you don’t believe it, don’t cast it. And if you cast it, fish like you believe it.
Big decisions should take more time than little ones. Doing nothing is in fact making a decision … and often the wrong one.
Value your time. It is all the time you are going to have.

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