How valuable is your time?

As a new consultant, I've thought a lot about the value of my time. "How much do you charge per hour?" is a common question. The answer so far: it depends.

I also recognize that an hourly rate is not equal to the value of my time.  Some time is more valuable than others.  Opportunity costs are everywhere. 

But what really made me think about the value of time was the line at Jimmy John's yesterday.  At lunch time, the sub shop was offering $1 sandwiches and the line was out the door.  I decided it wasn't worth a half hour wait to save $4. But I was amazed how many people were willing to take $8/hour to stand in line for lunch.

They wasted their time to save a few dollars, and the time they lost wasn't worth the money they saved.  I suspect that its a habit that extends beyond the lunch line.

Are you saving a few bucks but losing your most valuable asset, time? Outsourcing can be a great way to focus on what you do best, and avoid the time devaluing trap.