Time is valuable, but some hours are more valuable than others. This means your opportunity cost (the options you lose when you commit to a decision) varies depending on where, and when, you give up time to get something done.

So, it makes sense to pay someone else to do the chores when you could be doing something you care more about, i.e. building your business, sharing a moment with the kids, or catching up with a friend you haven’t seen for years.

Kick your productivity into high gear

There’s another secret which highly successful people leverage by spending money to save time, and it’s the key to why some hours are more valuable than others: on average, you have more willpower, and are more focussed and productive in the morning than in the afternoon (regardless of whether you are a “morning person” or not).

Every time you schedule a “low intensity” piece of work in the morning, like a meeting, catching up with email, or invoicing and bill payment, you are giving away prime problem-solving, planning, and creative time.

How to win: urgent is not important

How can you identify when to spend money and save time?

First, find chunks of time in which you’re confident you can be at your most productive (hint: most of these will be in the first 3-4 hours of the day).

Next, identify which times are currently being “wasted” on unimportant, repetitive tasks. It’s crucial to grasp urgent does not equal important: bill payment, for example, may be urgent if the bill is due this week, but it is not important compared to winning new business, or ensuring a product or project reaches completion safely.

It is definitely less important than keeping a key client happy with some face time or a phone call.

Buy freedom, energy and choices

You’ve identified tasks (let’s say you had to pay bills and do your books on Saturday morning) and you’ve engaged a book-keeper, and Bill Butler to handle the bills. What do you get for your money? Let’s break it down:

  • Free time
  • Valuable “morning brain” time to create, plan or build value
  • Relief from a boring repetitive task
  • Focussed professionals performing the boring repetitive money management
  • Less tiredness through the weekend and a powerful start on Monday morning

Not many investments offer such quick returns on so many fronts!


Jay Stephens
Lead Thought Provoker
Jay began his career in London with Rabobank, CLS bank and a Lloyd’s of London syndicate. Jay’s work has spanned corporate communications, content editing, newspaper articles, courseware, blogging, policy drafting, technical writing, and a regular crossword. He is passionate about 8-bit tunes, self-improvement, and the Oxford comma.