The Value of Time

Blogged by James Preece on 20th May 2014

Well, this getting up early to blog plan is turning out to be harder than I thought! We've been celebrating a fifth birthday this weekend so there have been late nights decorating cakes and wrapping presents.. late nights are not condusive to early mornings. This is how I feel.

This weekend we will be heading to Walsingham with the National Association of Catholic Families, so there will be packing to do. More late nights to fit things in.

There is never enough time.

I've been thinking a lot lately about the value of time.

We've been clearing out some old stuff lately. Anybody with kids will know the drill, things accumulate and the house is full. Eventually you have to say goodbye to toys and clothes which were once much loved but now just take up a lot of room. It's something I find hard thing to do, because everything is a memory of happy times and I'm a lot more sentimental than you could possibly imagine.

Anyway, I mention all this because at some point in the process there inevitably comes a point when Emily brings Bagpuss (that's me, yawning, right now) a thing and Bagpuss can remember spending money on that thing and how with a bit of effort it could probably bring in a few quid on ebay.

Looking around at the boxes, little dollar signs light up behind my eyes. Ooh.. if I can get a fiver for that and a few quid for that and... then it occurs to me. All that ebaying will takes ages and...

There is never enough time.

The kids are playing in the garden and I'm sat on the floor surrounded by boxes trying to decide wether to spend an evening mucking about on eBay trying to squeeze a few quid out of some old stuff. I don't want to spend hours on eBay. I want to spend time with the kids. I want to spend time on worthwhile pursuits.

So the stuff has gone.

If you think about it (and I have) what I essentially did was to place a monetary value on my time. A rough guess at how much time I might have spent taking photos, entering descriptions and wrapping parcels vs how much cash I might have got suggests that eBay effort would pay about £20 an hour.

That's good money to me. I don't get paid anywhere close to that in my regular job. But it's not worth it.

It wasn't always this way. When I was a student I would have spent hours messing about with a marketing ploy in order to get £1 off something. I would have been happy. I had all the time in the world and never enough money.

Time is infinitely precious right now.

Money? Well, we're not exactly wealthy.. but if we are sensible and budget and my wife stops me from blowing my wages on video games I would never have enough time to play.. we can get by. We have enough.

But there is never enough time.

So, I've been thinking a lot lately about the value of time. I just woke up an hour early to write a blog post that as a student I would have had all the time in the world for. Was it worth more than £20 on eBay?

Maybe I should go back to bed..