Time is viewed by many from differing perspective - to some it is a resource/tool; a few appreciate and value it; while many consider it a constant (as long as there is life, there is time). More than a decade ago, I remember reading a prose on the value of time, which to say the least, was aptly discerning. Paraphrased, it goes thus:
“To know the value of a year, ask a child who has to repeat a class;
To know the value of nine months, ask a mother delivered of a still birth;
To know the value of a millisecond, ask an Olympic hundred meter athlete“
A widely used analogy to understand the value of time is to consider each day as eighty six thousand four hundred dollar($86,400) [a day has 86,400 seconds i.e. 60 * 60 *24 seconds] credit given at the beginning of a day and that one’s decision each day decides the utility/value derived from each day. The question arises – how does one derive maximum value from one’s time and ultimately from one’s lifetime? The information age that defines this era we live in presents the average person an added number of endeavors that contend for one’s daily time – some relevant, others less relevant.
The Bible gives a good insight on time management and how the effective application of time as a resource could yield monumental benefits much later in life. One of such insights is provided in Proverbs where one of its verses goes thus:
‘Train up a child in the way he should grow and when he is old, he will not depart from it’.
In contemporary English, I’d rephrase that verse with the words of a popular maxim:
‘Give me a child for the first decade of his life and I’d be responsible for the man he becomes’.
These two statements fundamentally place emphasis on how the effective usage of ‘today’ as a resource or tool can yield unimaginable benefits for one’s long-term strategic goal. (To use another analogy since virtually everyone deals with money: one can think of the concept of the aforementioned statements as akin to the future value of a sum of money saved over a long period of time with a favorable interest rate).
I once came across a perceptive description of time which without much ado I’d go into its gist. First, consider a unit period of time that would be a representative average description of your life – this might be a month, week, or a day. A 7-day week works best for this exercise. Now, let’s classify life into its different categories. (Your task here is to determine how manyhours you spend in each category).
The big question is how do you score on the potential time index?
More often than not, for most people, the resulting score or number is quite low, hence our potentials or capacities as distinct personalities are limited and thus we do not achieve the fullness of our capacities as humans. I’d further bet that it would take an innovative method to ‘gain’ enough time to invest in the potential time category to reach one’s desire especially with the greatest stealer of time in this part of the world – traffic. Sadly also, when pressed for time due to the demands of either, or a combination of the first three categories, the fourth category usually takes the hit.
I have come to understand that a few helpful time gaining/planning techniques including:
Of course, this article elicits a number of questions which may include - what do you place as a priority in life, how much daily time do you invest in your priorities, what are your values and perception of time etc., but more importantly, my foremost question - how do you gain time?