Ben Franklin got it right when he said, “Time is money.” The simple fact that time equals money escapes many hard-working people.
I’m always surprised when someone tells me that they drove 5-10 miles to save 5-10 cents on a gallon of gas, so whatever savings made at the pump are lost in the drive to get the savings.
But this is a drop in the bucket to how much time folks spend searching for misplaced or buried files, both paper and electronic.
Industry statistics show that time equals money
Here are two interesting points from a Xerox industry white paper:
- Non-productive information work, such as reformatting documents or reentering documents into computers, consumed more than $1.5 trillion in U.S. salaries
- Survey respondents spend as much as 26% of their time trying to manage information overload
And how about these four from PricewaterhouseCoopers:
- According to Michael F. Woolery in Seize the Day, a single piece of paper can be looked at and picked up 30-40 times by disorganized executives without a single action taken
- A typical office possesses 19 copies of a document
- The cost of searching for a misfiled document: 6x the original cost of filing the document
- Office workers lose one out of every 20 documents, and on average, requires 25 hours to recreate
My experience shows time equals money
My experience working with folks for over 30 years in business, education and government confirms these facts. On average, employees waste 30 minutes to an hour a day searching through paperwork, stacking and moving folders, or simply recreating documents they cannot find.
Take a moment and consider how time equals money by considering the value of your time.
Therefore, if you make $50,000 a year, your time equals $25 per hour or 42 cents a minute. At $75,000, it equals 63 cents a minute. At $100,000, your time equals $50 per hour or 84 cents a minute.
So, when you lose 4 hours a week to clutter and disorganization, you’ve devalued yourself by $100-200 per week. And that works out to roughly $5,000 to $10,000 a year.
Want to show yourself as more productive to management? More responsive to information requests from coworkers? Have a more enjoyable workday?
Then learn organizing skills. Your time is money – value it!