Make the Mow-st Of Your Time!
I did not mow my lawn, today. That might not seem like news, but it has had a real impact on my way of thinking. You see, I always mow my own lawn. I actually kind of enjoy it. It is my time to think and I like getting the exercise.
Every time I mow, I can’t help but remember the advice of my colleague, Doug Box, who challenges photographers to consider how much their time is worth and learn to outsource those tasks that take our valuable time away from our business. His rationale is, if our time is valued at say, $50 and hour, can we afford to spend the time mowing the lawn or are we better off paying someone to do it? I always decide that while my time is priceless, I look at mowing as therapy.
I did not mow my lawn, today…I paid someone to do it for me. I paid $30 for two guys to mow the front and back yard, edge the driveway and side walks, weed eat around the flower beds and fences, and blow the trimmings into a pile and bag them. Two guys spent two hours working on my yard. It looked great! I always do a great job, so I was prepared to be very picky with their work, but it looked even better than when I do it. All of that, for $30…and I feel guilty.
I know I should not feel guilty, it is not like I don’t have the $30 to spend, but I just feel that is my job. I feel like I should be out there in 104 degree heat – even though they did it better than me. I would have spent about the same amount of time they did, plus the time spent taking a shower and the time spent on the couch afterward to recover. Instead, I stayed at my desk working on Photoshop, filling orders, returning e-mail and answering the phone. I also took several opportunities to sneak a peak out the window to spy on the workers expecting them to be sloppy or doing something wrong…but every time I peeked out of the blinds, I kept thinking, “Wow, I don’t do that well when I do the yard!”
While at my desk, I took a call and booked a new mentoring client. I also confirmed a wedding with a bride that I had met with previously. I also took and order for a DVD and got it ready for mailing. My net value in new business was $3600 for the time I spent not mowing my lawn. You know, it’s funny, I still feel a little guilty. Doesn’t that seem ridiculous?
What if the tables were turned? Are there tasks where you have a hard time letting go? Are there things that you simply have to do yourself because you feel like you have to be in control? Do you think that you are the only one who can do certain tasks and that nobody else will do it like you want it done or as well as you? What could you be doing with your time if you weren’t doing certain remedial tasks? How much is your time worth?
I will be taking a look at other ways I can better use my time. I would be interested in hearing some of your time savers and some of the services you use which keep you on the job doing what you do best.
Anyone want to buy a used lawn mower?