If time is money, let's value both

Feb 7, 2019

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One of the key concepts in my field (luxury hospitality) is that affluent people are often time poor. It shows in the demand for good travel advisors, who can help them pack more into a single trip, to the growth of the “bleisure” industry.

So if luxury equals time, isn’t time our most precious resource? Time poverty affects us all, in every trade, economic condition and also life stage. It has consequences from stress and anxiety, to depression, and loss of productivity. And that’s not to mention the strains on our personal life and relationships.

Here are some things you can to do to manage your time-money ratio smartly:

Give yourself a break

Most freelancers can relate to the time-money-happiness circle. While freelancing is perceived as a liberating choice, many of us work more hours than regular 9 to 5-ers. Why? Because we live by “If you don’t work, you don’t earn.”

This attitude, especially if adopted from the get-go, can lead to burnout. While working late or on weekends is unavoidable from time to time, don’t be so flexible with clients that you forget to make time for yourself.

Don’t be a yes person

On my personal freelance journey, I have learned to say no to clients and situations that don’t work for me. I try to keep my fees consistently in the medium-high range with the goal of working less, but earning the same and working on projects, and with clients, that genuinely interest me.

Define your goals

One of my resolutions (though I don’t like that word) this year is to concentrate on what really makes me happy — both professionally and personally — and finding time for it. That means keeping some flexibility in my work schedule and spending more time experiencing awe.

It won’t be easy, as we’re all very much conditioned by our acquired behavior, and the “future time slack” syndrome — the belief that we will always have more time than we do now.

But there's no certainty that we will, so let’s learn to manage it better.

Laura Cattaneo is an Italian translator and editor who specializes in the marketing, creative, and legal fields. Connect with her on Linkedin and Twitter, or visit her website.