The main premise of Get Help Get Active is that false beliefs are the drivers behind poor time management choices. This article describes a thought experiment that might help to convince you that this idea is correct.
Here’s the Deadline
Lets imagine that we have a friend who has an important deadline in ten days. In order to meet the deadline he will have to provide ten hours worth of exertion. So there are several different Exertion Methods (EM) that can be used in order to ensure that the important deadline will be met. Lets consider these three examples:
EM-1: Exert all ten hours on the first day.
EM-2: Exert one hour each day, for each of the ten days.
EM-3: Wait until the last day and try to exert all ten hours.
Here’s the First Surprise Offer
Our friend gets a call from a neighbor who offers to pay him $20 to do one hour’s worth of work. (Lets assume that $20/hour is a wage that he would normally be happy to earn.) The offer arrives on the first day of the ten days, and it is only available on the first day of the ten days. (For example, the job might be to help the neighbor to move a heavy couch that someone was giving away – so the work had to be done on that day.) So he takes the offer and does the hour of work and he gets the $20.
Here’s the Second Surprise Offer
Our friend gets another call (from the same neighbor) and he offers to pay him another $20 to do a single hour’s worth of work. But he gets this call on the last day of the ten day project deadline – and the job is only available on that day.
Now, for the person who uses EM-1, he would easily be able to make a slight modification to his schedule so he could scoop up both jobs and still get his important deadline met. The same thing goes for EM-2. But EM-3 would be faced with a dilemma when it comes to the second surprise offer. Because of the proximity of the deadline and the scarcity of time, the EM-3 person will, most likely, not be willing to work for $20/hour. But he could probably be persuaded to work for a higher wage – say $30/hour.
The difference has to do with the scarcity of his time as the important deadline approaches. The second surprise job offer means that a sudden need has arisen to re-allocate “time-resources” out of other necessary categories (for example: sleeping) in order to meet the demands of a) the important deadline and b) the one-hour job offer. So, our friend has to charge a $10/hour “premium” for his work on the tenth day in order to compensate himself for the aggravation of his lost sleep.
Of course, though, the neighbor (in all fairness) might think that our friend was only worth $20/hour – so he might refuse to pay the $10 premium. In which case our EM-3 friend looses out on the job.
Here’s the False Belief
The dilemma of the EM-3 fellow centers around his reliance on the false belief that he held during the first 9 days of the deadline period regarding the value of his non-allocated (or “free”) time. The truth was that his time was always worth $20/hour. But he only recognized the value of his time when someone else was offering to pay him for it!
Lets read that again:
He only recognized the value
of his time when someone else
was willing to pay him for it!
(Of course, in this example, we are assuming that the EM-3 fellow did not spend his extra free time wisely during the first 9 days. We can imagine scenarios in which he did spend his time wisely during the first 9 days, but, as we all know, for most EM-3 type people, that is usually not the case when a ten-day-deadline situation like this develops.)
Get Help and Get Active
Are you EM-3? You might value your time at more than $20/hour or less than $20/hour – but that is not what’s important here. Rather, the defining characteristic of an EM-3 person is that the recognition that his time is actually worth whatever it is worth only comes to him when he is being paid by someone else.
But does that make any sense? Of course your time is worth whatever it is worth – regardless of whether or not there is an external boss-man keeping tabs on you. Unfortunately, for an EM-3 type person, it can be very easy for him to lie to himself about the value of his own time – unless someone else (the boss) is there to keep him on track.
Many people consider their un-paid hours to be useless time. But that perspective purposefully overlooks the fact that we can, through self-discipline and self-direction, use our free time to build valuable mind-based products via self-education. A mind-based product is not something that can be transferred to another person for cash, but it can be used to increase the efficiency of subsequent energy transfer operations (aka “jobs”) which can be traded for cash. This simple observation explains why people who always have a career-teaching book with them end up making higher salaries than people who use their free time to just “zone out.”
So how about you? Can you stay on track on your own? Do you accurately recognize the value of your un-paid time? If so, then that is great. But, if you are having trouble keeping yourself on track, then, please consider accepting the completely free help that is available. Remember – you will never have to pay anything. Get Help and Get Active!