What is your time worth?

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I used to work for a tax partner whose charge-out rate was $1000 per hour.  Because he cost that much, appointments with him were kept by those who did not want to be billed for a single second of wasted time. Also being expensive imbued my tax partner with a sense of prestige and importance giving him a healthy sense of self.  He knew he was valuable.

Today I was thinking about the tax partner and wondering what my time would be charged out at as I waited for a friend to arrive for a coffee catch-up.  She had messaged me and asked me to coffee.   I am busy.   I’m in the middle of a move and renovations which require project managing and packing.  I also take classes and work shifts at the other end of the coast which require me to get up at 3:30am in the morning.  In short I have very little me time.  Today was one of only two days in the week when I can participate in a class as opposed to training other people.  Because I haven’t seen my friend in awhile, I agreed to meet her.

Punctuality is one of my things.   I cut my class short so that I would be on time. Being punctual to me means that you are showing other people that you value their time and that they are important to you.  Similarly, people who think it’s a cool idea to be fashionably late because they have they some crazy notion that this makes them interesting, are demonstrating, loudly and clearly, that they do not value your time and if they don’t value your time then they don’t value you.

My friend didn’t show up.  I waited for 30 minutes and then left.  The wait gave me pause to reflect that my time per hour is priceless.  Once that hour is spent I won’t be getting it back.  I decided that henceforth, my time will only be spent on things that enrich my life or move it forward and not squandered on someone who doesn’t value it or me.

It’s not the first time in my life I have been kept waiting.  Quite the contrary.  I seem to be a magnet for people who break appointments or who show up whenever they feel like it while I, in turn, patiently wait for them.  Today that all changed.  I will no longer allow people, events, Facebook posts, free TV, gossip and general junk to waste my valuable time.  Time is ticks along and there is so much to do.

How about you?  How about your time?  Do you value or squander it?  Do you wile away your hours sitting around waiting for other people when you could be making life happen or do you get up and get on with the important things you have to do?

Conversely, are you the perennially latecomer?  If you are then answer this.  Why do you think your time is more important than someone else’s?  What are you offering the world that makes rudeness and disrespect acceptable?