how I learnt to value my time

This past weekend I did my tax. I’ve never been this organised before but thanks to Daniel’s encouragement I set aside a few hours to add up invoices and create a spreadsheet of my deductions (I usually just write the figures on a piece of paper but, well, spreadsheets are somewhat satisfying).

I had a rough idea of what I’d earned but when I added the figures I realised this financial year has been a big one for me. In fact, it’s my most successful year to date, made even sweeter because I did it with three children in tow. As I was simultaneously patting myself on the back and dreading the imminent tax bill, I started thinking about what made this year different from those previous.

I had more work opportunities arise which I embraced, of course. But underlying ever single job I took on was one intention:

Value my time and reflect that value in my quotes.

Mid-last year I came to realise that if I didn’t value my time, no one else would. It was a revelation because I admit, in the past I’ve been a bit of a push-over. Most of my business quotes and decisions have been dictated by fear and doubt. I have always questioned my ability to write the story and take the photo and I so desperately wanted to work that I often underquoted myself.

But this year was different. Perhaps its the self-belief that naturally comes in your thirties or the fact that with three children to care for my free time is minimal and therefore, incredibly precious. If I was going to spend time doing work, being away from my family or squeezing work time into a series of ungodly hours during the day and night, I needed to be paid accordingly.

But this isn’t just about time and money. For me, it’s about self-awareness, self-respect and self-care – recognising that I am valuable and that my work is valuable. It’s a natural progression from knowing my limits; prioritising my wellbeing, respecting my skills and considering the whole picture before I say “yes!”.

It’s a relief to reach this stage as a working mother.

Feel free to share your thoughts, I’d love to know we’re you’re at.

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  • Dolly Henry

    I agree wholeheartedly and I am glad you have the courage to value yourself! I've recently started up my little clothing label again, and being brave enough to value my time and work, and reflecting that in the price has been difficult but I know it is necessary. I have also learnt the hard way that in order to flourish and be there for my own family, I need to start practising a bit of self-care too. Megan xx

  • aluminiumgirl

    Good post.

    I really value time and my husband's love-language is "spending time". For me, time is key. To be able to "strike the balance" and have a harmonious work-time and home-time, means I need to value time and in doing that, use my time as efficiently as possible – both at work and at home.

    It's also about being present in the moment. If I am using my time wisely, I am then able to focus on the one thing I need to focus on (teaching, my own kids, marking etc). Mindfulness and priorities, I guess.

    It also means that I measure "in time". If it is going to be quicker (cheaper in time) to out-source something, than do it myself, I can sometimes justify the cost of a service. It means, I'd rather throw my Mum some money and have her iron our clothes (in half the time it'd take me – and to a better standard) than do it myself – because I can then invest that time elsewhere.

  • Cynthia

    Good for you, Jodi, so very wise. I am now happily retired but when my boys were little I had an in-home therapy practice. I was undercutting my colleagues by 50% b/c I felt I had no overhead costs. Then I realized it wasn't fair to my colleagues or myself. My overhead was part of my mortgage, the time I spent making sure the office and bathroom and any room my client had to walk through was clean and neat for every appointment. I adjusted my fees accordingly and guess what? My business took off even more and I ended up hiring a housekeeper so I could see more clients vs. clean house.

  • Kim Petersen

    This was such a great read! This is definietly something I've struggled with as freelance work can be quite hard to break into and you always want to land the job. I really love the mantra of valuing my time, great post! XO -Kim

  • M

    I'm not there yet but I am on the path and hope to be over the next 6 months. Thank you for this thought provoking words

  • Happy Bandits

    This is such a good reminder!! Yes our time is valuable, oh yes it is, how come it is sometimes so hard to realize or so easy to forget! It reminded me of a post I wrote last year about time ( )..not complaining about time has become a pretty good habit, one I really enjoy, but I needed a reminder that my time is valuable indeed and accept that it is worth some dollars when it comes to work. Thank you, as always (the photo is so beautiful) xx

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