What’s Your Time Worth?
As a first-time mom with an energetic four-month old, I stay pretty busy. I’m back to work at Onspring, leading software demonstrations and creating proofs of concept, among many other tasks that keep me busy. On top of a full work schedule, I like to spend as much time as I can with my little one, hang with friends and family, and oh, keep the house clean, prepare delicious healthy meals at home, and maybe exercise every now and then. More than ever in my life, my time is a precious, limited resource. If there is something I can buy that is going to save me time on the mundane so I can focus on the areas that are important to me—take my money!
I don’t think I’m alone in this. Most busy professionals are balancing a myriad of business and personal responsibilities and commitments. With that in mind, do we value our time to the extent we should?
I’ll give you an example. Maybe you heard about the somewhat infamous (and perhaps slightly disastrous) Build-a-Bear “Pay Your Age” event. Here’s a picture I saw on social media of my local mall for those waiting in line at opening time:
Build-a-Bear stores across the U.S. and Canada had to close lines down, sometimes before stores even opened, due to the massive response. I can tell you where I was not on this day. I was not in line at Build-a-Bear. The average time to wait in line was about six hours. I think the savings was around $20. Mental math has never been my strong suit, but by my calculations, that averages to a little over $3/hr.
Just because something involves less monetary expense does not mean it’s higher in value. Yet this is a common stumbling block for business teams that are moving to an automated tool from a manual process or outdated software. Excel is low-cost, that is true, but how long does it take to maintain your spreadsheets? An antiquated system may be a “sunk cost,” but how much time do you spend making updates, waiting for reports to load or inventing workarounds?
If your team is considering a switch to an intuitive, flexible software tool like Onspring, here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Will this allow me to eliminate the management of repetitive tasks?
- Will I have an easy place to see my process or policies in action so I don’t have to refer to documentation to implement correctly?
- Can I quit worrying about losing integrity or logic of a complex spreadsheet shared across my team?
- Can a tool stay on top of process stakeholders so I can spend less time tracking people down?
If you add up the time spent on these few activities alone, you could carve out some time to complete your proactive, forward-thinking work such as staying ahead of your risk environment, preparing for new regulations, analyzing critical data and more.
And me? I’ll take the six hours I saved from avoiding Build-a-Bear and go have an adventure with my girl!