Time is money: 7 ways to earn more in less time

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If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?

–John Wooden, Basketball Coach and 10–time National Champion

Time is money.

Have you given any thought to the amount of time you spend doing things over?

How often do you find yourself sending five emails when it could have taken three?

How many times have you rushed through your work and then redone all of it just a few days later?

How many times have you logged on to Twitter or Facebook today?

A better way to play the game

It’s true that time is money … but here’s the thing.

Simply acknowledging that “time is money” or that you need to “focus on being efficient” or that you need to take stock of “high value activities” doesn’t really help you make much progress.

It’s easy enough to figure out what is costing you money and what is making you money. “I get money when I sell this. I lose money when I buy that.”

On the surface, it seems that the phrase “time is money” means that you need to be productive and efficient. In reality, however, it actually means something far more important than that.

If time is money — and some people are making a lot more of it in the same amount of time — then there has to be a better way to play the game.

And that’s why there should always be one phrase that you keep rolling through your head.

There has to be a better way to play the game.


And make no mistake, there is always a better way to play the game.

Productivity might get you a 2x return, but finding a better way to play the game will bring you 20x.

Each time you discover a better way to do something — a more efficient partnership to generate leads, a better way to get referrals, a quicker route to earning a raise — you unlock a powerful secret in earning more because your time is now worth more money.

That’s what “time is money” is really about.

How to make your time worth more money

In many cases, the secrets to earning more money are all around you. There are people next door that are landing big wins by doing things that you have never thought to try.

How do you find their brilliant moves?

Be curious. Be vigilant. Get out there. Ask questions. Meet new people in person.

These aren’t just phrases or sayings. Have you actually reached out to someone new recently? Have you actually searched for people that are crushing it in your business, industry, or in general? Have you asked them how they do it?

Send them an email, connect with them on LinkedIn, get their assistant to introduce you at a conference. Start talking with people that are doing well.

The more you reach out to people, network with them, and ask them questions, the more you will see that there really is a better way to play the game.

Time is money. Figure out how successful people spend their time.

7 ways to earn more in less time

If you starting looking around and asking questions, you can discover how to make your time worth more money.

Here are some useful suggestions I’ve discovered in the last few months alone.

  1. Time is money during a salary negotiation. Instead of waiting until the salary conversation comes up during the interview, ask the recruiter what type of salary they have allocated for the position the very first time you meet them. You can file that number away for later and you won’t have to bother with the back and forth negotiation as much because you’ll already know what number to ask for.
  2. Time is money when you’re emailing important people. Keep it short and be clear. Here are some more tips.
  3. Time is money when getting business referrals. Instead of asking for a referral, ask for someone who has the problem you solve. Designing websites? Ask, “who isn’t happy with their website?” Not, “do you know anyone I can help?”
  4. Time is money when negotiating for a discount. If you ask for a discount and you hear some version of “No,” then simply ask the person, “Hmm… I really want us to make this work. What would you do if you were in my shoes?” More often than not, they will give you a better answer than you would have ever thought of negotiating for and you’ll save time as well.
  5. Time is money when it comes to performing as a team. Practice is the time to focus on the details, but when it’s time to execute 80% right is good enough. The best teams thrive because they are united. Getting the job done together is more important that getting the details right.
  6. Time is money when building new relationships. Rather than emailing 100 people, try taking just one out for coffee or lunch. The benefits I have received from one hour of face–to–face conversation far outweigh those I see from 10 hours of email.
  7. Time is money when calling customer service. Automated customer services lines and phone robots with scratchy throats are absurd. If you have an important complaint, then stop by gethuman.com or contacthelp.com to see if there is a code for the company you are calling to bypass all of the automated systems and get straight to a real person.

What do you think?

Time really is money … and your time should be worth more of it.

Have your own tips on earning more in less time? Leave them in the comments below.

5 Responses to Time is money: 7 ways to earn more in less time

  1. This is one of those things that’s been on my mind recently, but that’s way easier to think about than to actually put into practice.

    Because I work a day job while running my business, I need to be extremely selective about the projects I take on. I need to be sure that I’m only doing the activities that have the highest payout for the time invested.

    Of course, knowing that doesn’t keep me on track as much as it should :)

    But this week, I’ve already identified three low value (when evaluated on a time invested compared to return basis) tasks that I’m either substantially reducing or eliminating entirely. 2011 should be about becoming a lean, mean business machine!

    • James Clear says:

      That’s awesome, Sarah. I’m all for better business … especially when it comes to processes and automation.

      That said, I’m still very firmly people first when it comes to overall business. Reaching out, connecting, and picking the brains of successful people has been the number one driver for my business.

      Even if it seems “inefficient,” I still recommend meeting with people in person (and online) whenever possible.

  2. Kusi Kyereme says:

    Highly recommended information for every business.
    Please send me your Free Newsletter on Earning More.

  3. Nilesh Singh says:

    I am Nilesh Singh ,I am 18 years old but everytime I think of money that how to save time and make more money .I will be highly grateful if I get you all supports ….As I am so small I cannot do anything indivisually need help please .

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