Will you still give away your time mindlessly to inane activities or throw priceless minutes to undeserving individuals; if you are left with limited time stock with a clock counting down to zero, your death moment.
Probably not! Moreover the thought of a clock in front of you, reverse counting your remaining living time itself is shivery!
A few years back, I watched Justin Timberlake thriller “In 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 scary 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 your 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 you give away your minutes and hours easily but refuse to part with your dollars 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 dollars.
Decide today, what is the worth of your time? Does it worth memories that you cherish spending with your family? Does it worth dollars that you earn while selling your quality time to your employers? Does it worth skills and expertise which you get by spending priceless hours? Or does it worth simply spending away your time while updating your status and chatting with your pals on Facebook, Twitter, digg etc.? You have numerous choices to make.
I don’t wish to get into the mathematical calculations of your time’s worth, as context changes with individuals. Still, every moment of your life has a worth which can either be cashed for goodies or be just thrown into a bin.
By being a bit more conscious about spending time, you can leverage the maximum out of this limited supplied, fast perishable resource.
Watch your spending:
Keep close watch on your time spending, at least for a month. Keep a log to record your time splurge. You will see a pattern where your life might have gone into the obvious complacency curve.
You will find many activities you do with gusto and passion; but much time you might be spending on mindless chores, throwing away your time in a bin; the time which you’ll never get back.
Look for the answers of the following questions?
How much time do you spend on the activities for which your organization hired you; and how much do you spend on adjacent activities?
How much time do you keep for your personal development activities?
What proportion of time do you spend with your family?
How much time do you spend on socializing activities and networking?
How much time do you spend sitting in front of TV? (What you watch matters the most)
How much time do you spend on reading? (see what are you reading, if any)
How much time do you give to your well being, exercise or sports?
How much time do you spend on sleeping and getting refreshed?
There are numerous questions for which you’ll find the answer in the log pattern.
Synchronize your purpose with time and prioritize:
Look carefully for any disconnect between your purpose and the way you invest your time.
What you want to achieve for your organization? What you want to achieve in your current job? What you want to become as an individual? Where you envision yourself in next 5 or 10 years? What you want your children to be? Every purpose calls for corresponding action. See if you are devoting enough time to your actions in-line with your purpose in professional and personal domains. Eliminate activities which are not, even remotely, adding to your purpose.
Purpose-time matrix helps you in prioritizing your actions with respect to purpose alignment.
Whatever be your take away from my article, remember there is an invisible clock ticking away calling every moment of your life for living with a purpose. Know the worth of your time and spend with a mindful purpose as you do with your dollars….