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Best use of your time vs. enjoyment of your time

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biophase

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In real estate, there is a thing called best use. If you have a piece of property on a busy corner, a single family residence probably isn't the best use of the land. An apartment building probably isn't either. It's fairly obvious that this spot is best suited for a commercial property. However, is a candy store or an art store the best use? probably not. A gas station would probably be better suited for this property.

I've been struggling with how to use my time lately. I understand the philosophy of making the best use of your time. For many of us, we think money when it comes to best use.

For example, I've been wanting to put a fountain in my backyard for a while. This fountation will cost me $150 in materials and probably 8 hours of work. If I were to hire this out, a contractor would charge me $400 to put this in.

As a "fastlane" thinker I often ask myself, is this the best use of my time. When I'm done, I've saved $250 or about $30/hr. Could I have spent this time doing something better?

My answer is probably. I could have spent the same 8 hours dilgently working on my business or real estate. The potential ROI on the 8 hours is far greater than $250.

So why do I contemplate building this fountain myself? Because it's fun to me and I want to do it. Sometimes I feel guilty doing this because if I could get a job at $50/hr, so I am leaving $20/hr on the table. This is clearly not the best use of my time.

So I often ask myself, if I had all the money in the world, would I still be doing this?

Many times we fall into the trap of always thinking about how to make money that any time we spend not trying seems like wasted time. We shouldn't feel guilty in wasting time. After all, we're all trying to make money now, so we can "waste" our time later relaxing. There's no reason we can't do that now.

:smx6:
 

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Russ H

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Biophase-

I enjoy your posts, and like the way you think.

Here are some additional thoughts about time:

If you found you had 40 years to live, how much would each day be worth to you? Each hour?

Now, suppose you found that you had 40 DAYS to live.

How much would each day be worth to you? Each hour?

The value of your time skyrockets, yes?

Here's the thing:

None of us knows how long we have.

So each moment

Is priceless.

Sure, you can put a dollar value on what someone else will *pay* to use you for their purposes (aka "a J.O.B.").

But that's a far cry from what your time is worth-- to YOU.

The minutes I spend with my daughter in my arms are priceless.

So are the ones that I spend sitting under big green trees, looking up through the branches at the sun, or the moon.

So many things we do . . .

Priceless.

-Russ H.
 

Allthingznew

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Aug 26, 2007
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For example, I've been wanting to put a fountain in my backyard for a while. This fountation will cost me $150 in materials and probably 8 hours of work. If I were to hire this out, a contractor would charge me $400 to put this in.

As a "fastlane" thinker I often ask myself, is this the best use of my time. When I'm done, I've saved $250 or about $30/hr. Could I have spent this time doing something better?

My answer is probably. I could have spent the same 8 hours dilgently working on my business or real estate. The potential ROI on the 8 hours is far greater than $250.

So why do I contemplate building this fountain myself? Because it's fun to me and I want to do it. Sometimes I feel guilty doing this because if I could get a job at $50/hr, so I am leaving $20/hr on the table. This is clearly not the best use of my time.

So I often ask myself, if I had all the money in the world, would I still be doing this?
I submit that if it brings you personal satisfaction to build it yourself, then it may be the best use of your time. You're not just working, you're creating. It's not always about the money. And, if you have a friend or someone who wants to help you, you could make memories in the process.

If the thought of doing it yourself makes you tired, then you may just want to have it done, and that would mean it would not be the best use of your time.

I think the beauty of having the money is having the choice.
 

piranha526

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Bio,
I had the same problem last year when I wanted a paver patio, walkway and a new lawn area. I ended up doing it myself and do appreciate the job but I will never do the pavers again. It was a waste of my time that could have been spent doing other things. Yes, I saved money but my time lost was more valuable and precious when looking back.

Now, the sod was a lot of fun and I would do that again especially since my wife helped. I wouldn’t sod a huge lawn but a small 1,000 sq ft area in our backyard was perfect for us.

I designed the layout so I wanted to do everything myself but looking back, I completely understand that my time is x-times more valuable than a dollar (for a contractor).
 

AroundTheWorld

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Bio -

I struggle with the same thing.... I think I could be classified by some as a workaholic. I find it hard at times to allow myself "leasure" time.

But, I have also ... slowly and painfully at times ... come to realize that leasure time is oh - so important for my sanity and enjoyment of life.

There have been periods of time in which we have been very busy and had to delay leasure activities with our family. A great example of this is sailing. We have a boat and live by a nice lake. Unfortunately this summer, we were rarely able to get to the boat. We found ourselves saying...

"after this closes, things will get better" then...
"after building A is done, we will have more time" then....
"after x, we will...."

We came to realize that there is ALWAYS THE next thing and the next thing and the next thing and they only way we will EVER have time for leasure is if we make it a priority.... and do it no matter what else is going on.


I also think there is a big difference between leasure time and wasting time. Leasure activities are nurturing and restoring and important for our sanity and continued productivity.
 

MJ DeMarco

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A great movie about "time" and living in the moment, The Peaceful Warrior ... video clip below...

The movie is littered with thought provoking and mind-bending concepts.

[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9BBDexSzmMM"]YouTube - Peaceful warrior - Words of wisdom[/ame]

"The accident is your training"

[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3lWuUzpLLUs"]YouTube - Peaceful Warrior Bridge Slow Motion scene[/ame]

"The trash is what is keeping you from this moment, here .... now....."
 
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biophase

biophase

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I had the same problem last year when I wanted a paver patio, walkway and a new lawn area. I ended up doing it myself and do appreciate the job but I will never do the pavers again. It was a waste of my time that could have been spent doing other things. Yes, I saved money but my time lost was more valuable and precious when looking back.
I have done the same thing and realized I'd never do it again. But it's good to figure that out yourself.

I hate doing pavers... it seems like a fun engineering job until you're so sick of tapping the bricks with a hammer.

I used to do my own oil changes... never again... but at least I know how Jiffy Lube does it so when they come tell me that I need a new doohickey I can respond, "uhmmm why do I need that for an oil change?"

I am teetering on whether I like painting my house anymore. It's so easy to do, I just do it without thinking about hiring it out.
 
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biophase

biophase

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We came to realize that there is ALWAYS THE next thing and the next thing and the next thing and they only way we will EVER have time for leasure is if we make it a priority.... and do it no matter what else is going on.

I also think there is a big difference between leasure time and wasting time. Leasure activities are nurturing and restoring and important for our sanity and continued productivity.
I do find that alot of people don't prioritize their leisure time. They always have an excuse as to why they can't do this or that. I see this alot with people in going to the gym.

It used to be an "if I have time left at the end of the day I'll go to the gym" attitude, but now it's as important as going to the grocery store. Once you make it a priority, you never miss it because you have scheduled time for it.

This story is a little off topic, but my above post just reminded me of it.

When I first moved here I worked with one realtor. The market was booming and she had so many clients. She would schedule to show me homes in the morning and have another client in the afternoon and one in the evening. We became pretty good friends as we spent many days driving all over town together.

Many times we'd end up running behind to 1pm, and her next client meeting was 1pm. She would go the whole day without eating until 10pm. Because I was working out regularly, I couldn't miss meals. I put eating as a priority over seeing a house and knowing our schedule I always brought powerbars and snacks to munch on. If we were running late at 12:30pm, I'd say let's forget the last house and get lunch. But she always wanted to show them, I'd have to force her to cancel and eat with me. She had always put her work before eating. She was very skinny too.

One day she stopped returning my phone calls. My mortgage broker hadn't her from her either. It would be almost 3 months until she eventually called me back and left me a message. She said that she had gotten real sick and had been in the hospital. She said she was embarrassed to tell me about it. To this day, I haven't spoken with her again. I don't know if she's still working or not. I have a suspicion that her illness had to do with her not eating.

This is another money vs. something contest that I see people contemplate. There should be no debate about money vs. health. It's no contest. I could not get this into my realtor's head. She was closing 17 houses a month during this time. That is ALOT of money! But 3 years later I wonder if was it all worth it to her.
 

nomadjanet

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I agree that if you gain personal enjoyment out of physical work then it can be the best use of your time even though you could "make" more money doing something else. If this were not the case, we would not fish, we would buy fish. No one would garden, we would buy veggies or flowers, musicians would stop live performances and simply sell CD's. But what about someone who says they do not enjoy the physical work but insists on doing it even thought it is not financially in their best interest? How do you explain that issue and how do you help them change that habit?

Janet
 

Russ H

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Wow, MJ. cool clips.

Definitely in line w/my philosophy of life.

Thanks-- gonna check out where I can get this! :thankyousign:

-Russ H.
 

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kimberland

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I submit that if it brings you personal satisfaction to build it yourself, then it may be the best use of your time. You're not just working, you're creating.
Completely agree.
I take summers off (well... my definition of off) to write novels.
If I looked at it from a purely financial perspective,
I'd never do that.
I could get a higher return on my time elsewhere.
But its fun and keeps me out of trouble and...

Think of it as a hobby that "pays" for itself.
 

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