What is a free Saturday worth to you? Have you ever had to work on Saturday? Sure, you have. We all have. You may be working on a Saturday this week. Do you like it? Are there other things you’d rather be doing than working? If you’re doing household work or yard work, that still counts. You can probably think of 100 other things you’d rather be doing than that. What is it worth to you to get your Saturday back? What’s that free Saturday worth?
Thinking about free Saturdays is a great analogy to thinking about what our time is worth. Everyone says that time is our most precious commodity — even above money — but no one puts it in a context. Many of us waste several hours per day browsing, checking news, checking newsfeeds, and otherwise drifting our afternoons away. Few have their days broken out into time blocks of projects and getting after it hours. For most, that is too painful, too rigid. But everyone can get behind the concept of free Saturdays. 100% free time. What does that look like to you? What does that feel like to you? Have you had one in awhile?
If you’re an adult with children, your Saturday might look like this: wake up earlier than you want to; take kids to ballgame; take kids to another ballgame; eat fast food; take the dog to the vet; perform other family obligation; come home and do yard work or housework. After this, it is later in the afternoon and feels like a Tuesday. What if that Saturday was yours again? What did it look like back then?
If you love what you do (even if you don’t), there’s nothing wrong with working on Saturdays. College football players work hard on Saturdays in the fall. So do PGA Tour golfers. So do contractors. So do a lot of Wall Street types. So do performers associated with weddings. (Brides do, too.) Even entrepreneurs. But most of these professionals do so by choice. If you’re working on Saturdays and feel like you don’t have a choice, that’s where it’s really tough. This is where you dream about free Saturdays, remembering what it was like having nothing to do. Being giddy like a kid on Saturday morning: no school! Donuts! I get to do what I want! Toys! Hey, both parents are home! Cartoons. Children love what they do on Saturday mornings. So do some adults.
Have you noticed that if you don’t put a value on your time — especially your time off — someone else will? And whenever they do, you don’t like the value they put on it? No one values your time like you do. This is why you should always be thinking in time value terms both when you’re working and when you’re off. Off-work hours — Saturdays for some of us — ought to be highly valuable to you. Who doesn’t want more free days and more time to spend as one wishes developing, honing, resting, creating, hanging with friends and family? What is that time invested worth to you? If you’re like most people, nothing is more important. Put a premium on that time. When you value your time, you value your effort. Defend that time. Protect it like you protect your children. To really strike the point home, put a monetary value on this time. $500. $1,000. Think if I were to be working right now, what would I charge for this on an otherwise free Saturday? Especially think about it like this if you find yourself on an airplane on Saturday morning at 6 am. To some people, there’s nothing more painful. To others, they’re flying into freedom. What is that worth?
If you love what you do and you’re working on Saturdays, then you’ve already won. Why? Because so few people love what they do and despise working on Saturdays when forced. Also, if you love what you do and you’re defending your time off on Saturdays like you defend your castle, you’re winning. Free days are best when pre-planned, when you know they’re on the way. They are scheduled. The anticipation of free days is as powerful as the time off itself.
If you could do anything this Saturday, what would you do? What time would you get up? Where would you go? Who would you meet? What would you eat? What does your optimal, free Saturday design look like? What is this free Saturday worth to you?