A lot of people are subconscious about their actions in life. We wake up, clean up ourselves, go to our work/school, then go home and rest. Routinely we spend our time mostly for ourselves and our family trying to survive the pits of life. However what we don’t know is for each day that passes, we tend to spend our time on things that don’t matter. Noises, arguments, political rants and toxic people are a few. We regret ourselves for not taking advantage of the opportunities while we were young. We spend a certain fraction of our lives not knowing how can our actions give a valuable return in the future. The thing is we’re complacent that there’s always gonna be tomorrow. Nobody knows what the future holds and tomorrow may not give you a chance. Successful people tend to be more efficient in spending their time and there’s no doubt that every action they do contributes something to society. Every person is unique and we all have our different situations in life but it doesn’t mean we can’t spend time wisely. People have the compassion and the instinct to spend their time with their loved ones and work their day jobs to survive life but what they don’t have is the skill of vigilance to value their precious time. Given all that, the next question would be how can your actions bring back value to you or somebody else?
Most of our time is spent on personal satisfaction. We all have different interests from one another and some may not find the action to become proactive. For me, the primary measure of how well you spend your time is how much value can it contribute. It doesn’t matter how small as long as it gives value be it helping your grandparents go down the stairs, cleaning your desk, or helping relentlessly your co-worker no matter how unteachable they are.
Here’s an example. Say you want to go to New York from San Francisco. You can either ride the bus or fly a plane. A bus is cheaper but longer while a plane is more expensive but faster. Some of you might pick the bus because it’s within your budget but a plane saves you a lot of time to get there. The thing is during your bus trip, you could be doing something unproductive. You’d rather sleep, watch some series or just daydream the whole trip. If you think about it, its like spending the whole trip with nothing much on your plate. If you got on the plane, you would’ve arrived earlier and got to do your stuff more productive. You’ve saved much time giving your more flexibility. The thing here is although you did spent more money, you’ve saved a lot of time. Money can be always earned while time is not. Once its lost it can never be back.
Primary Contributor of your Time
Why do you think that people waste a lot of time? One word: Entertainment. People would love to feel satisfied and to feel gratified without exerting much effort. Watching Netflix, going to bars, playing video games, scrolling through Facebook, or even over-sleeping as a habit. Entertainment is indeed the greatest time waster of all. I’m not saying its bad to have fun. it’s more of being aware of your actions and how do you think can it help. Do you think video games can help advance your career? Will drinking beer with your friends every Friday make you a world-class citizen?
Seconds as a currency
Imagine every day you are given 86400 coins and it’s mandatory that you spend everything within 24 hours. We assume that these coins are the number of seconds you have per day. Let’s say you spend 21600 (7hrs) coins to sleep, that leaves you 64800 (18hrs) coins for the day. You spend 10800 (3hrs) for your commute back & forth and another 7200 (2hrs) to eat your 3 meals, now you have 46800 (13 hours) coins left. You use 32400 coins to do you full-time work (study or work), spend 3600 to watch your all-time favorite show and another 3600 to rest/buffer from your work. Now you only have 7200 as your free time of the day. How do you plan to spend that? Do you wish to continue to finish your Game of Thrones marathon? Do you work on your side project? Do go to your friend’s house and have fun? Would you read a book?
Your schedule maybe different from what I’ve mentioned but it should give you an idea of how time as a currency work.
The difference between time and money is time can never be gained back while money can. The concept is similar to financials. Given that you have 7200 left for the day, how do you make it grow? How do you invest that time to help yourself or others? If you can spend that time to something productive then you’re wise enough to invest in your future. I’m not saying entertainment is bad but know the right balance between having fun versus having too much fun. You only have one life to live so don’t waste it on things that don’t matter.