From my private collection
“The most disgraceful kind of loss, however, is that due to carelessness.
Furthermore, if you will pay close heed to the problem, you will find that the largest portion of our life passes while we are doing ill, a goodly share while we are doing nothing, and the whole while we are doing that which is not to the purpose.
What man can you show me who places any value on his time, who reckons the worth of each day, who understands that he is dying daily?”
The Compounding Value of Time
We are all dying daily. Time is truly the most finite -and most valuable- of our resources. I won’t speak of those who don’t believe this. I am not one of them. For myself, I used to think that since time is running out, one must be as busy as possible. I know better now. I know that busyness does not equal valuable use of time. And busyness isn’t simply about work.
One of the misconceptions we have today is that the more work we have the more busy we are. It is also possible to be busy with leisure, busy with hobbies, busy with social interactions, and busy with thoughts. Busy means being continually preoccupied. Work is not the only thing that can preoccupy us.
And busyness isn’t simply about work.
So what must I do with my time? Do I pack it in? Do I keep it light? Do I seek balance? Do I seek activity? As for me, I seek to carefully select the activities that lead to compounding benefits on time spent. A minute with Yasmin and Elijah is a more valuable minute. A minute spent for them is valuable too. A minute waiting in line for today’s must-enjoy is very low on the value-compounding scale. A minute worrying, though it makes us feel concerned, is a minute wasted, when that minute can be used on removing obstacles. A minute on my goals, my life’s mission is precious.
Work is not the only thing that can preoccupy us.
The question isn’t so much whether what we are using our time on is “right” or “wrong”, but whether the moment, this moment, will grow in more value, at least to us, over time.
Will this moment grow in more value over time?