Some things just aren_t worth your time
In a previous lecture, I proposed that paying your bills manually, whether by check or online is a big time waster and it takes up mental space and time that you could better spend elsewhere. In this lecture, I want to propose that this is just one common example of a large array of tasks that simply aren't worth your time. Not only do many of these tasks waste time, but they waste your attention and mental energy. And as we said before that attention and time can be even more precious than time itself. Now, I don't know what your time is worth, how much time you actually have or what activities you enjoy doing. What I do know, However, is that for each and every one of us there are some tasks that we either hate doing are terrible at doing or which simply are not a good use of our time. Let me give you an idea of what I mean, I'm pretty lousy at cleaning. It takes me a long time. I do an awful job and I suffer throughout the entire process. Years ago though, when I first moved out int...
o my own place, I didn't want to be one of those prissy spoiled college kids who hires someone to come and clean my dorm room. I mean, how ridiculous would that be Right. We used to tell a story about one of our advisors who was notorious at his university for having a cleaning lady and a laundry service tend to all of his cleaning necessities. We all laughed and made fun of him, but in reality the joke was on us that adviser knew something that we didn't yet realize that time is a precious commodity, especially in college. And that the two or three hours a week that should be spent cleaning, washing and folding laundry and so on was just not worth saving the money. He knew that he was spending so much money on his education in college and should do everything in his power not to skip reading assignments or homework for something as trivial as scrubbing the floors. He also knew that he only had a limited amount of time with the classmates and friends that would become some of his closest lifelong relationships. Now obviously this isn't for everyone. I know some people who find cleaning relaxing and therapeutic, it helps them unwind after a long week. If that's the case, by all means clean your own place. But if it isn't then why suffer and waste time. Maybe you're on board so far and perhaps you already have someone cleaning your apartment or mowing your lawn for you. But what about when I tell you that I also have someone come to my home and make me home cooked meals and that I often have a laundry service come and pick up my laundry and return it to me clean and folded. All of a sudden this sounds like a ridiculous luxury, but it's not. In reality it costs me about $20 per hour to have someone cook for me, which ends up being more affordable in bulk than going out to restaurants and a large load of laundry only cost $20 including delivery. When I tell you those numbers, you realize that it's not the money that's stopping you from delegating these tasks, it's the psychological and social norms that you've become used to. But here's the thing, you probably do this kind of delegation and outsourcing every single day by going out to lunch during the work week instead of cooking your own lunch in the middle of the workday, you outsource all kinds of things that you could do yourself from getting your nails done to having amazon, deliver packages to your door instead of going down to the store and many, many more things. Now, while you might want to judge someone for hiring a private chef, chances are you've used Uber before to hire yourself a private driver if you think about it, what's the difference? The only question is where you draw that line and whether or not you submit to the social stigmas that makes some things normal and other things frivolous or spoiled. But here's what I want to impress upon you, outsourcing tasks that aren't worth your time is a double whammy. First, from an economic standpoint, it makes a lot of sense. And more importantly, Second research has actually shown that buying back your time is among the top ways that you can use money to improve your happiness and quality of life and at the end of the day, what the heck do you earn morning for, if not to improve your life and the lives of those you love heck. Research has even demonstrated that couples who buy back their time and delegate common sources of household frustration such as housework and cooking are happier, healthier and less likely to get divorced. To further illustrate the point that outsourcing some tasks makes a lot of sense economically. Let's go back and do a little math problem here with an imaginary currency. Since I don't want to offend anyone by making salary assumptions, Imagine you earn, say 20 coffee beans per hour at your job. It's not a prestigious job or a particularly high paying job, but that's a fair rate. Then imagine that you can get your apartment cleaned in two hours at a rate of 15 coffee beans per hour. Also imagine that because you're not as effective at cleaning as someone who does it for a living. I want you to imagine that it will take you at least three hours to do just as good a job. In reality, if we look at a concept in economics called opportunity cost cleaning your own apartment costs you 60 coffee beans, whereas you could get it cleaned for only 30. In fact, even if you could clean as fast as the professionals and get it done in two hours, you would still make a profit of 10 coffee beans by not cleaning your apartment. Of course I realize that you don't work 24/7 and so the opportunity cost or the price of cleaning instead of working is just an imaginary one. But to that I would ask you a simple question how much is spending time with your friends or family getting to the gym and extra time per week or just having an extra two hours to relax really worth. Isn't it worth those 30 coffee beans? I don't know about you but I certainly value every minute that I spend reading a good book, enjoying dinner with my wife or even relaxing at the beach much, much more than the hourly rate of what my housekeeper charges me and plus as an entrepreneur I can generally use those safe hours if I want to build up my business and get ahead at work. Now here's another real life example. I have a friend who's a very successful architect and he runs his own firm, he was working on a very exciting project in downtown san Francisco and he wanted to alert the media to get some coverage and recognition for his company. He came to our ceo group with a problem. He and his employees were spending lots and lots of time reaching out to media outlets and they weren't having a lot of success. Not only that, but the hours they were spending on chasing down reporters and trying to pitch the story was causing delays in their actual work pipeline and preventing the company from completing the project on time. I'll never forget what one of the other executives said to him. You know, when I needed to redesign my office, I didn't waste my time trying to do it myself. I came to you and I had it done in record time, but yet when you need to get your press coverage, you waste your time trying to do it yourself. You have to realize that there are people out there who are as skilled and efficient at generating pr as you were at redesigning my office. So why would you not take advantage of that? Just to save a few bucks? In the end he hired a pr firm for a few $1000 and the project got amazing coverage without having to delay a multimillion dollar deal or distract his very highly paid employees. This reminds me of a fitness saying that I've heard all throughout my life as an entrepreneur, don't step over dollars to pick up pennies. So what are some things that you can delegate or outsource in your life like me, you can choose to delegate and outsource the cleaning of your apartment or home. You could also choose to have your laundry done for you very affordably using apps like cleanly. If you consider that a large load of laundry will cost maybe $20 and you imagine that it would take you about two hours to do all the sorting ironing, folding and hanging this works out to be about a cost of $10 per hour saved personally. I decided long ago that it would be better to invest that time into fun activities, which to me is well worth that $10 an hour or I could at least put those two hours a month into creating new courses, which if it helps me earn one more student like you is a net positive effort or how about grocery shopping? Maybe you enjoy going to the grocery store and squeezing your own avocados. But let's face it. Many weeks, you just don't have the time or the energy so you end up eating out a lot instead. You can save the hour of labor and probably a lot of money and carrying out all the groceries by clicking the one click reorder button on the supermarket website or via amazon. Now The cost of delivery is about $6 and as I mentioned before, that is likely way less than your time is worth to go to the store or take it to the next level and do what I do, hire a student or a part time chef to do your grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning of the dishes. I simply can't tell you how much I love coming home, opening up the refrigerator and finding a week's worth of delicious, healthy and home cooked meals, waiting for me to enjoy total cost per week, About $80 plus the expensive groceries. More recently, I've even begun experimenting with things like finding flights, booking hotel reservations and researching travel arrangements. You would be surprised to find that your credit card may include a completely free concierge service. And they can often do a lot of the heavy lifting around finding you tickets, booking your flights and arranging hotels for you what a treat. But these are just a few examples. What kind of stuff are you currently doing? That is a poor use of your time. Maybe it's leaving work to get to the pet shop and buy dog food before they close. Maybe it's building your own IKEA furniture or maybe it's mowing your lawn or changing the oil in your own car. If you enjoy doing these activities and find them therapeutic or enjoyable or your time really isn't worth that much for whatever reason then by all means keep doing them and don't feel guilty. But just know that you have an option and you shouldn't feel bad about making a conscientious decision to say no to the things that aren't a good use of your time or mental energy. Now, if you're in the master class version of this program, make sure to complete the not to do list which is a worksheet that we have included in the next chapter. I'm going to give you some websites and services that help you find people who are better than you at doing some of the things that you are lousy at doing, and I'll give you some background on how to use these services.