Thursday, July 25, 2013

What is Your Time Worth?

I'm a people-pleaser and a peacemaker. I've always been that way--I think I learned it from my mother. Actually, I know I learned it from my mother. It's a really annoying habit to have, and one that has always caused me to take on more than I can handle (often more than my fair share), and then grumble and complain about it in the end.

It's not really a very healthy habit to have, so I can't say I recommend it.

Any time someone needed help with something, if they asked me to help, I would agree, whether it was something I wanted to do or not. Did it matter if I was already overwhelmed with my own life and responsibilities? Nope. So-and-so needed help, and they came to me, and so I helped.

It might have been borne of a need to be liked. Maybe it was because I didn't value myself enough to say no when I needed to say no. There are all sorts of psychological reasons behind my people-pleasing ways.

But there came a point where I'd just had enough. I realized that I couldn't be everything to everyone, and so it wasn't helping anyone if I tried to be (least of all myself).

I had to set some boundaries.

I won't lie. It hasn't been an easy adjustment to make. There have been ample times, still, where I've been asked to do something that I really didn't want to do, and I gave in. Every time I've done that, I've regretted it, and then I've increased my efforts to resist that urge the next time.

But now, I think I've come to a point where I can sit back and evaluate better. When I'm asked to do something, I ask myself a number of questions. Do I want to do this? What will it cost me in time and money? What will it cost in emotional drain and stress? What will I gain from doing it? Is the potential payoff greater than the potential cost?

Recently, I've taken my evaluation a step further. Now that I've been earning my living from writing for the last couple of years, I sat down with a calculator and figured out what an hour of my time is worth in terms of my writing. It has been really eye-opening, to say the least, and I'm sure it will affect the way I make decisions about my time in the future.

Are you a people-pleaser like me? Do you find yourself agreeing to do things you'd rather not do? How do you make decisions on things that will steal time from your work, family, or self?

**Originally published at Lady Scribes**

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