The Value of Time

Have the words “I just don’t have enough time” ever passed your lips? Have you ever wished for an extra one or two hours in the day?

It seems to be a common problem, but it’s not that there isn’t enough time, it’s that the time we have available isn’t being used efficiently.

Time isn’t something we can change, but our use of it is. Somehow people like Donald Trump seem to find enough time, so how can we squeeze a little more out of the orange?

Firstly, consider how important time is for you, and how much time is wasted every day. I treat my time like a scarce commodity, because I’m never sure just how much more of it I’ll have. Time is my only non-renewable resource.

If you work full-time, then you’re donating forty or more hours per week. Unless you can increase your hourly rate or decrease your expenses, this time spent is a given.

But what about the rest of your time?

A year or so ago my life came to a crunch. I felt I was close to a breakdown because I was overdoing it, committing to too many projects and trying to get too much done. What was disconcerting was that I felt I wasn’t giving enough attention to the parts of my life I valued most. I think most of us can relate to that.

So I wrote a list of the top ten ways I’d like to spend my time, and I compared it to the top ten ways I actually spent my time. The difference was staggering.

That was the day I gave up television.

Here are some of the ways I maximize the value I get from my time. I won’t spend time with people who don’t appreciate me. I am continually trying to improve myself and my life and I actively enjoy the time I have doing what I place high on my priorities – reading, painting, exercising, socializing, writing, meditating, traveling, and most importantly being a Dad and husband.

An interesting statistic: The average Canadian watches television for 21.4 hours per week (source Stats Canada). Over a lifetime of say seventy-five years, that’s 9 years and 193 days spent in front of the television.

Think about what you’ve achieved over the last nine or ten years and realize that’s what you might be giving up.

I didn’t watch 21.4 hours a week, but I had my weekly shows, and a few others I liked. But I saw how those shows got in the way of doing what I really wanted to do. Watching television wasn’t in my top ten.

By giving up television (I now watch between a half and one hour per week) my available time is more than nine years longer than the average Canadian.

On the other hand a fifty-year study completed in 2004 by BUPA’s Health Information Team in the U.K. stated that smoking cuts life expectancy by ten years. So when you compare watching television to smoking, which continually gets bad press, you effectively miss out on about the same amount of time to actively live.

It’s important that we not only respect our own time, but even more importantly, the time of others. It is only by being active in the time we have that we can accomplish and grow.

“I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book” – Groucho Marx (1890-1977)

Print or Share
  • Print
  • email
  • RSS
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Google Buzz
This entry was posted in 7 Criteria, Be Inspired, Coaching, Goals, Personal Coaching, Time, Vision and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *