observation rant

Time & Priorities

Time is money, right?

In this past week, I’ve noticed more how people are with their time. I’ve been running a cynical joke in my head about the difference between graduate students and “real world” people: graduate students think their time is so valuable that they cannot make it to a mentor meeting or what-have-you. “Real world” people, i.e., other businesspeople, meanwhile will make the time for important connections….even informational interviews.

I say this as being cynical because I notice how some of my peers have acted with some invitations. Yes, time is money, but would you really turn down a valuable connection’s invitation for lunch? Dinner? With the excuse of “I’ve been SO busy.”

Do you think that your time is that much more valuable than your connection’s time?

I had sent out an email to a colleague earlier this week asking to see if this person had time to meet this summer for lunch or coffee or whatnot. This person replied saying the same thing as above: “I’m too busy.”

I understand that people have packed schedules. I have a crazy schedule, too. Thank goodness for Google Calendar; it keeps all my appointments, engagements in order. I’ve had scheduling issues with a few of my connections, but we have volleyed emails back and forth to find a time that will work for both of us. THIS is how you should handle time issues: don’t just walk away and say “I’m TOO BUSY” and make the other person feel like their time is not valuable. Work out a time to meet with that person, even if you believe you will not do business with them in the future.

I find that many people don’t realize the power of connections. Say “no” to one person, and you could be closing the door on many opportunities. I don’t like being treated like a commodity, so I value all the connections I make, no matter big or small. People are … human. We’re not commodities. So don’t treat your connections, colleagues, etc. as if they’re commodities.