Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Time: What is the worth?

Will I still give away my time mindlessly to inane activities or throw priceless minutes to undeserving individuals, if am left with limited time stock with a clock counting down to zero, my death moment.

Probably not!  Moreover, the thought of a clock in front of me, reverse counting my remaining living time itself is scary!

Justin Timberlake thriller “In Time” is interesting movie to understand the value of time. The plot is set in 2169, where humans are genetically engineered to stop aging at 25 years. After that, the clock embedded in their forearms starts counting down from 2 years.

The most telling part of the movie is where the currency is replaced by living time; allowing individuals to earn, take loans, pay interests, and buy products and services with their living time. Want a bus ride? Pay 30 minutes; want to stay in hotel for a day? Pay six months to one year; want to buy burger? Pay twenty minutes. Once the time stock reaches to zero, one dies. It’s creepy to see a couple of hours or minutes left on the clock before death. This eerie feeling makes the time much more precious commodity ever.   

The strong message in the movie about value of time hits bang on my face, revealing the bitter truth of our lives about the time abuse.

Our lives are no different in terms of living time; except the difference that there is no visible clock, but it still counts backwards to zero, ticking every moment. On one side, the invisibility of the clock makes our life easier; on the other side it gives us a license to abuse time. It gives us a false sense of immortality as if we have unceasing supply of living time.

Think of the moments when we give away our minutes and hours easily but refuse to part with our money as if later is more treasured. We forget that the time is the most precious resource which we can’t get back once spent, unlike our money.

Let’s decide, what is the worth of our time? Does it worth memories that we cherish spending with our family? Does it worth money that we earn while selling our quality time to your employers? Does it worth skills and expertise which we get by spending priceless hours? Or does it worth simply spending away our time while updating your status and chatting with our pals on Facebook, WhatsApp,Twitter etc.?  We have numerous choices to make and decide.   

I don’t wish to get into the mathematical calculations of our time’s worth, as the context changes with individuals. Still, every moment of our life has a worth which can either be cashed for goodies or be just thrown away into a bin.

By being a bit more conscious about spending time, we can leverage the maximum out of this limited supplied, fast perishable resource.

Let’s watch our spending:

I thought of keeping close watch on my time spending, at least for a month. Keeping a log to record my time splurge. I can see a pattern where my life might have gone into the obvious complacency curve.

I can see that many activities I do with gusto and passion; but much time I might be spending on mindless chores, throwing away my time; the time which I’ll never get back.

Let’s look for the answers to the following questions?

  • How much time do we spend on the activities for which our organization hire us; and how much do we spend on adjacent activities?
  • How much time do we keep for our personal development activities?  
  • What proportion of time do we spend with our family?
  • How much time do we spend on socializing activities and networking?
  • How much time do we spend sitting in front of TV? (What we watch matters the most)
  • How much time do we spend on reading? (see what are you reading, if any)
  • How much time do we give to our well being, exercise or sports?
  • How much time do we spend on sleeping and getting refreshed?

There are numerous questions for which I can find the answer in the log pattern.

I feel a need to synchronize our purpose with time, and prioritize:

Let’s look carefully for any disconnect between our purpose and the way we invest our time.

What we want to achieve for our organization? What we want to achieve in our current job? What we want to become as an individual? Where we envision ourselves in next 5 or 10 years? What we want our children to be? Every purpose calls for corresponding action. See if we are devoting enough time to our actions in-line with our purpose in professional and personal domains. Eliminate activities which are not, even remotely, adding to your purpose.

Purpose-time matrix helps in prioritizing actions with respect to purpose alignment.

Purpose-time matrix

Whatever be our takeaway from this piece of words, remember there is an invisible clock ticking away calling every moment of our life for living with a purpose. Let’s know the worth of our time and spend with a mindful purpose as we do with our money….

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Hardeep is an entrepreneur, marketer, blogger, an ardent reader and avid writer. He expresses his unbiased views especially on the matters of Business, Tech & Life through this blog. He can be reached at


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