A commodity as defined by Wikipedia is a marketable item produced to satisfy wants or needs. Commodities are also usually found or grown in abundance, i.e. coffee beans, corn, tea leaves, almonds, cashews, salt, etc.
These items do however see shortages from time to time, or experience ridiculous spikes in demand for various reasons. When that happens the price of that item goes through the roof and becomes difficult to find. For example, in the past year Dr. Oz boasted about the amazing nutritional benefits of chia seeds. His endorsing of this super food resulted in a spike in demand; at the same time farmers were experiencing a shortage of crop due to flooding. At the time my company Bearded Brothers had been paying about $6 per pound of chia, but because of the fiasco partially caused by Dr. Oz we started paying $10 per pound of chia, and that is when we could find a supplier that could provide it. Sadly many times we were left going to retail stores paying as much as $16 per pound, just so we could produce our product that contained chia.
YOUR time is also a commodity. You actually have a lot of it. With sleep out of the equation you have about 16 hours a day. Some of us actually have more. Just like marketable commodities we can see a surge of demand for our time, which seems to result in a shortage, leaving us saying, “if only I had an extra hour in the day.”
And just like commodities you need to place a higher value one your time when you have less of it. Lets say you have a busy week ahead of you that is full of meetings. Any additional time you give away now comes at a higher cost, so it should be guarded carefully. When the schedule starts to fill, be cautious about adding more meetings or events to your calendar, otherwise you aren’t going to be left with any time to work on other important projects; resulting in you feeling overwhelmed and frustrated.
I often have people ask me to meet with them to share about my experience with starting Bearded Brothers. A lot of the time I’m more than willing to meet with that person or take a phone call, but only when my schedule isn’t already full. The reason for this is people met with me when we were starting and I want to help others as well. Sometimes my desire to help can get me in trouble, and this is why it’s important to view time is a commodity. Though there is a lot of it, there is a limited supply.
I would encourage you to start viewing your time as a commodity. Chances are you already do, but may not take it seriously. Don’t freely give out your time when you are already up against a wall with a big deadline. And probably more importantly make sure you are taking time for yourself. Get outside, exercise, read a book, do things to help yourself recharge! If you don’t it’s not going to matter how much time you have because you will likely run yourself into the ground and/or get sick.
Time is our means of fulfilling wants or needs; it’s precious! So, you want some more ideas on how to protect and guard your time see my recent post on time management techniques.