As entrepreneurs and business owners we hear the phrase Value Your Time, a TON. But what does that really mean?

Does it mean charge more money? Work less? Work smarter (another ambiguous phrase)?

What does it mean?

I think it’s somewhat different for everyone.

But there is one universal, undeniable fact: although it may bend and stretch, time is our only non-renewable resource.

We can always make more money, find fuel sources, create new relationships, start new careers, but we can never go back in time.

So what does that mean for today and tomorrow and all the days we’re gifted after that?

To me it means make a life, not just a living.

Valuing my time means I’m grateful and appreciative of all the experiences in my life. It means doing what I want by design, not by default.

That’s what valuing my time means to me.

But even those definitions are open to interpretation. For one person, designing a life may look like dedicating themselves to their work, to another it might look like spending very little time working and more time with family and friends.

My point is that you need to first decide what your ideal life looks like to you before you can place any value on your time.

To better discern how you value your time ask yourself these questions:

1. If money were no issue, what are the top three ways you would spend your time? It’s important to know how you love to spend your time and incorporate more of that in your daily life.

Many feel a lack of love and too much obligation around their work, which is a sad thing because we spend so of our lives working. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

If you started a business from love and passion, it’s likely that there are things about it that you adore, things that would make the top three of how you like to spend your time. The drive behind valuing your time is to maximize the moments of doing what you love and minimize the moments of doing what you don’t. Which leads us to the next question.

2. What daily tasks (work and home) could be systemized, pared down, delegated, or forgotten altogether? As you go through your day, make note of how you spend it and what things you could empower someone else to do.

Freeing up just a few hours a week from busywork does more than give you the actual hours, but it also creates space in your mind and magnifies the things you love – like magic.

3. Let’s look at the money shall we? How much do you need to make each month to live the life you want to live? List out all your expenses and your pleasures. Total them up and that’s your number. Don’t skimp here.

Then, make a plan to generate that income. It’s one thing to have a broad number in mind, and quite another to know what you need to do to meet it. Having that plan will help you focus and target even further how you choose to spend your time.

Ultimately, to value your time is to design your life.

You are in charge, no one else.

Be vigilant. Pay attention to what you’re doing with your life – your time, on a daily basis – and correct your course along the way. It’s never too late to make a few course corrections. Really. You can choose to change your course so that you’re living your most fulfilling life.

That is the true meaning of valuing your time.

It’s not money, it’s not work less play more. It’s deciding what you want to do and then doing more of it. By design, not default.

Value your time – design and then live your best life. Begin today!