Friday, November 21, 2014

The Real Cost of Overtime

Many people are called upon to work above and beyond their hours in service of their companies. They are typically compensated at an increased rate for this time and this extra income is used to pad the budget.

It is quite common for people to take on overtime to cover specific yearly bills like car insurance or to buy a new cell phone. If you can work overtime on a regular enough basis, you can effectively raise our monthly wage.

I myself have often seen overtime as welcome and additional income that allows me to reach my goals faster. As a budgeter, I have never relied on income to meet my basic needs, but more money doesn't hurt.

What I realised was hurting though, was the loss of my personal time. While overtime was providing roughly an extra Grantley Adams (100 dollars for non-bajans), I was losing five to six hours that could have been spent working on my own pursuits.

As the CEO of my life, I had decided it prudent to bill a good portion of my hours out to Civil Aviation. It was work that I enjoyed, the hours were good and I was always mentally engaged and there was ample opportunities for personal growth and development. I knew I was not meant to be a paper pusher; pushing tin was a lot more palatable.

However, the rest of my hours that could have been spent in service to my own goals, were worth more than what I was being paid to continue to push tin instead of say writing, or reading.

Spending hours reading a personal finance forum may never make me any money, but the currency of happiness can never be equated on an equal footing with paper bills.

Are you working more overtime hours than are in service to your life? Take a look at your bigger picture and see each of your hours as precious beyond what money can buy. Ask yourself if that new cell phone that you are pushing yourself to buy is really worth not hanging out with your family or working on your book.

I speak even to people who run small businesses. Often you need to put in many, many hours because you are the chief cook, bottle washer, waiter and the maid. However, do not forget to set boundaries and provide ample time for vacation, recreation and pursuing other passions.

Since becoming cognisant of this, I haven't worked any-more overtime. This is not to say that I wouldn't in the future, but as long as my hours have more value in-service to me, I pass on it, despite the dangled carrot of pieces of silver.

If you have unrealised dreams and plans, projects in the garage catching dust or a widening gap in a personal relationship, it may be time to add up the real cost of your overtime habit.

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