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Emotional and physical costs of your time

09 May 2016

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Your time: what is your time spend really costing you?

When it comes to optimising how and where you spend your time each hour of each day, knowing what your time spend is costing you is key. So far I have explored Financial Costs and Opportunity Costs - both great ways for you to double check whether any given task is genuinely the best use of your time.

You will recall that it is always helpful to think of your costs in terms of layers, because there will never be just one cost associated with how you are using your time.

This month I want to explore the next 2 cost layers - Emotional Costs and Physical Costs.

Emotional Costs - ouch, that hurt!

Emotional Costs are where you feel you spent your time well or not and whether you are comfortable with the way you behaved - this generally includes feelings of stress, guilt and worry about whether you made the right choice.

How many times, for example:

  • have you felt guilty for choosing another evening business event over having dinner with your kids?
  • yelled at your kids to help tidy the house and later felt terrible for not being the mum you want to be?

These are your emotional costs - the ones we tend to dwell on and continue to mentally beat ourselves up over.

Physical Costs - actually, that hurts more…

The final cost layer is Physical Cost. This one isn’t rocket science. If the activity or task you have chosen to spend your time on makes for pain, then you are incurring a physical cost on top of the other cost layers.

For example:

  • • if you spend 3 hours cleaning your home, scrubbing the shower; leaning over the bath; moving furniture; and vacuuming and you end up with a sore back, this is a Physical Cost
  • • if you sit at your computer for 4 hours without taking a break and end up with a headache, this is a Physical Cost.

Don’t let your time management costs overwhelm you - rather, use them as a simple guide to help ensure that when you ask yourself ‘Is this the best use of my time?’, you can always answer ‘Yes, it is!’.

Time Stylers founder Kate Christie is a time management specialist, speaker and the author of “Me Time – The Professional Woman’s Guide to Finding 30 Guilt-Free Hours a Month”, which walks readers through a proven 5 step process to find and harness lost time. Connect with Kate to have her speak at your next event or to help you and your team improve your productivity.

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