Theophrastus said - "time is the most valuable thing a man can spend." - What makes time so valuable is the reality that once it slips away, it can never be gotten back. Theophrastus existed in 371-287 BCE; he was a Greek philosopher and scientist who made a significant contribution in nearly every area of thought and science.
We currently exist in the year 2022, and we are still talking about a man whose philosophic thought, over 2,000 years later still rings true. In an essay by Benjamin Franklin called Advice to a Young Tradesman, the statesman, scientist, and philosopher said “Remember that time is money.” This phrase quickly became an aphorism one that holds much power and truth; however, it is in this truth that many find themselves lost. In today's world, value is given to money and is considered the most important part of daily living; however, many people forget a very important parameter that holds the key to living - TIME.
One thing that we've done well as humans is to create the ability to measure time. In a day: 60 seconds make a minute, 60 minutes make an hour, and 24 hours make a day. Our ancestors used different ways to tell time overall we always could estimate time in a way to help us quantify our usage.
For example, studies have shown that the average adult in 2022 sleeps for about 6.8 hours. So, what do we do with the rest of the time we have? Do you spend your time living out your dreams and aspirations, whatever they may be or do you spend it wallowing in self-pity and disgust?
Let's take a closer dive into the aphorism "Time is Money." Money is a store of value or anything that is used as a medium of exchange. Money is also referred to as an item or verifiable record that is accepted as a means of exchange. Did you know that spending time picking up a new skill can be likened to storing up value?
A holistic view of money is the consideration that it functions as a settlement for day-to-day transactions, this is only scratching the surface of the complexity of money, when you look at the term store of value, what this phrase does is highlight the idea of time. Let's look at the full phrase from Ben Franklin,
"Remember that time is money. He that can earn ten shillings a day by his labour, and goes abroad, or sits idle one half of that day, tho’ he spends but sixpence during his diversion or idleness ought not to reckon that the only expense; he has really spent or rather thrown away five shillings besides…", It was an admonition for wasting time because Benjamin Franklin understood that the purpose of time should be spent storing up value.
So then, what's the implication of wasting time, and how does this affect your value? The aphorism "time is money" explains that success and failure depend on how wisely time is spent because it has been proven that those who utilise their time wisely will surely attain success. Let's dive into two ways that you may be wasting your time and how you can do better:
- How much time and value have you wasted procrastinating: This has to be one of the deadliest of time-wasting habits because the moment you fully realise, you have probably wasted two, five or even more years of your life. Procrastinating starts with small, little things like missing deadlines, allowing opportunities to slip you by, lack of preparedness and so on can cause long-lasting effects and can persist throughout our lives. These effects build up and lead to broken dreams, stress, low self-esteem and anxiety. The consequences of procrastination are direr, so how do you develop techniques that would help you deal with it when it appears? The key to stopping procrastination is first; to set achievable goals and just start working on them. Take the first step by force as this is always the hardest part, once you do this pay attention to the little signals of procrastination. Identifying these signals would help you realise what is and has been stopping you from achieving your goals. Once you have identified them, mobilise yourself with discipline to counter their effect on you. For example; if you find that one of the reasons you procrastinate a lot is due to your unhealthy lifestyle, taking a poor diet with no exercise, then you know there is a need to improve on this. You can get started by avoiding unhealthy snacks and if you feel you require motivation then the best way is to invest in a personal trainer. This way, you have someone else monitoring your habits and pushing you to be a better version of yourself. There's no big philosophy of getting out of procrastination; all you need to do is recognise the triggers and deal with them with discipline.
- How much time have you wasted pursuing your passion or searching for your Zone: This is a slippery slope; what many people today call passion are just pipe dreams and acute laziness; passion means doing what you enjoy, and human passion and desires change over time. Your favourite thing to do could be just that; however, if you let yourself fester on the idea of passion without work, then you have just been wasting your time and value. Assume, you have a passion for knitting, your grandmother taught you how, and you have been working at it ever since; however, you have yet to make anything out of this passion, what you do is imagine you owned a store, but you have not taken any step to start. You might be growing and becoming better at knitting, but you have been losing time and money because if you had maybe taken a business class you would have established a business that would help you grow and also provide you with income. This analogy depicts why pursuing a passion without work is just acute laziness. We understand the strong need to pursue your passion and nothing is wrong with that, we simply are saying you can pursue your passion, but you must do this in an improved way. In cases where you feel that you need more control over your life, a life coach can help you put things in perspective, but in the meantime, here's what you can do - Do what you love with the disciplined mindset of making money out of it. If knitting is what you are passionate about, start by making shawls and selling them to the people around you. Whatever your passion is, make sure that you assign a monetary value to enable you to pursue it with diligence and discipline
How do you spend your 24 hours? How productive is your day? Do you get any value for your time? Are you wasting time doing unnecessary things? By understanding the effects of time as it affects money, we will have the ability to make better decisions. Time is precious but we have become so complacent, we forget. Why do we waste time even when we know how precious it is? If you put a value on time for example every second you waste would set you back $1 then maybe you can truly understand the cost of time-wasting.
The key to making the most out of your time is to allocate time to do important things. Create a schedule, map out the most important things and follow through with it. Now is the time to make changes not to relax, stop wasting your time, spend it creating value and you'll see how this affects you positively.