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Gaining Time- Chris Yinks

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).

1) Occupation Time: Time spent to get all the monies to survive each day. Essentially jobs to support school, self, families or to meet a higher target. Time spent at school for students.
2) Ethereal Time: Time spent recharging ourselves so that we maintain physical and psychological balance. Basically sleep and rest time.
3) Responsibilities Time: Time spent on chores, shopping, hygiene and personal grooming, meal time, clean up to ensure health and general maintenance.
4) Potential Time: Time spent on one’s personal or self-development, hobbies, mind, independent learning, leisure activities. Basically time remaining (or devoted) each day to expand our capabilities by spending time with our families, tapping into our life in a personal, spiritual and developmental level.

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:

1) Getting a job you enjoy (this effectively ensures that job time is also potential time) – the proverbial killing two birds with a stone.
2) Juggle tasks together. Simple one’s like doing multiple household tasks together; complex ones like running an online course program or part time degree together with work demands while maintaining an appreciable level of effectiveness in either tasks. 
3) Your comments

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?

Thanks so much Chrisyinks. I'm always delighted when a blog reader sends in submissions. Here are a few more time-gaining techniques that easily come to mind. 
-Time management 
-Refusing to procrastinate 
-Being mindful of the company one keeps. (Dare I say that a lot of the people in our lives; friends, colleagues and even lovers are simply time wasters that add no real value). 

Share your thoughts


  1. Nice one Chris, well done. As they say time lost cannot be replaced. I did a reality check recently and there is so much I need to achieve in very little time, I now trying to work on my self (personal development) through out year 2016, with the strong belief that greater responsibilities are coming my way.

    I realize most of my personal goals where put on hold in 2015. Now that I'm done with the baby popping (yeah, done done done). Let me face myself.

    Also, would you mind being someone that could help with proposal writing for a non-profit. Your skills could come in very handy. Please send your email through Thelma so I can further elaborate my case. LOL

    1. Thank you Clare. I don't mind, although I must warn you that I have little experience in writing proposals. Nevertheless, I get in touch with Thelma to do the honors.

  2. I just started my lunch when I decided to view the blog, as soon as I saw "Gaining time - Chrissy Yinks" I just dropped my phone and said lemme finish eating first. Bros you dey try die.

    The truth is that as human beings we can never fully grasp the meaning of time. Of course there is the time we measure in seconds minutes hours... Seasons and so on. How we perceive time and its value will determine how fast we move on to the next phases in our lives. It's something we often take for granted without even knowing it. While we wait and entertain ourselves, others are taking full advantage of their time to progress in society and move ideas, lives and beliefs forward.
    Having time is a choice that's no different from spending money. Similar to other resources that may become scarce, time runs out, just like money. You must choose how you invest your time and also understand what you will get on that investment. Choosing how you spend your time enables you get more information, which allows you accomplish more in a day that most people. Think about what happens to the time we spend doing nothing, it is being thrown away as no positive outcome can come from being idle.

    The real problem here is that while you're idling you're not yet passionate about anything. You haven't found something that moves you so profoundly that you find its value above your own. Once you reach this point, you make time for it. It's just like when you're in love, in the past it seemed like you didn't even have time for yourself but now that you value that love more you see that you make time to be together. When you use excuses like I don't have time you're simply rationalizing a bad choice of how you invest your precious time.

    I wish I could say more but... no TIME!!

    1. I'd surprise you soon and probably send in a very short article. #NewYearResolutionthings

  3. Is it my phone or which #confused#.. Have refresh this blog close to 10times today ooo Thelma where are u oooo? Am missing u, pls post something is 3 days to Christmas and 3 days to my birthday *shine teeth*. besides where is everyone... The house is silent... Why
    ... #crying#.

  4. Chrisyinks... thanks for this. I found out that I didn't do anything out of the ordinary in 2015, I didn't manage my time at all. And it really hurt when I realized this at the end of the year. I let my occupation time and the greatest stealer of time in Lagos, rob me of good time that should have been spent developing my self. You can imagine why I thought you wrote this with me in mind. I pray 2016 would be a better year.

    One of the things that hindered me was, I had an idea of things I wanted to do, but I didn't write them down... not to talk of prioritizing them. it was just an idea or a thought. So sometimes it'll escape my mind.. and when something related comes up, i'll remember. So one should have a list of what to do/achieve, then prioritize, don't be Lazy. I realized that even during the weekend, when i actually had time... I was just too lazy to do anything. all I wanted to do was sleep, eat and watch movies/series. And don't just say or think... Do!

    eventually, I accomplished one! And i'm so happy I did. At least I can mark that one as done.

    I wish everyone a fulfilling 2016. :)

    1. Amen!! Thanks for the advice of writing your goals down. It helps a whole lot

    2. Always welcome Kabuoy. Amen to your prayers. Cheers to a fulfilling 2016.


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