Time is Money. Negotiate for the Best Use of Yours.

Krystn Palmer Photography. Used under Creative Commons license.

Krystn Palmer Photography. Used under Creative Commons license.

Time is money. So negotiate for the best use of yours. 

Treat your calendar as a limited and coveted resource, a proxy for your focus and attention. 

The negotiation starts with you, when you ask, “Is this the best use of my time for what I want to accomplish?”

Then ask your boss for you to be assigned to the most important projects or the biggest accounts that will help you become indispensable to your employer. Measure and catalog both your time spent and results generated. The data will prove your undeniable value and substantiate the raise and promotion you deserve. 

The negotiation continues as you defend against time suckers.

In the book Deep Workauthor Cal Newport suggests maximizing the time spent on "deep work" such as honing a specialized skill or producing new content by minimizing time spent on "shallow work." 

Shallow work produces resentment, stress and little value. Think about your time spent in interminable email volley or spent sitting through meetings where the real objectives seem to be posturing and politicking. It doesn't generate the kind of creative thinking and value that help substantiate a raise and promotion. 

Newport goes on further to suggest asking your boss for a shallow work budget, or a clearly defined cap on time spent on busy work that doesn't generate value. This is a brilliant idea, as it can be a key career negotiation that can either help set you on a path of upward trajectory or help you clearly see how (little) your employer values your time.

So what if your boss says no to a shallow work budget? Like in any other negotiation, a no to this ask provides opportunity to collect data about your employer. 

Newport observes that, "In this case, the answer is still useful, as it tells you that this isn't a job that supports deep work, and a job that doesn't support deep work is not a job that can help you succeed in our current information economy." 

Defend your time against the shallows. Go deep and go prosper.