Essence and Importance of Time

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Time is the most misused resource known to man. “Time is free, but it’s priceless. You can’t own it, but you can use it. You can’t keep it, but you can spend it. And once it’s lost you can never get it back.” (Meha 14) It often takes the misuse of time to realize the true value of it. When asked “What is the biggest mistake we make in life?” the Buddha replied, “The biggest mistake is you think you have time.

” Everybody has the equal opportunity of time in their life. We all have 24 hours in a day, 60 minutes in an hour and 60 seconds in a minute. According to a recent study, the average person lives 79 years. We spend 33 years of our life in bed, which is over a third of our life! We spend 13 years of our life working, yet many people want to leave their current jobs because they are not satisfied. We spend 11 years in front of a screen, 6 years doing chores, and 4 ½ years eating and drinking.

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We spend 1 ½ years in education, 1 ½ years in child care, and 1 year commuting. That leaves us with 7 years. (Curtis 15)

I argue that how we spend these 7 years that we are left with, is what makes the difference a successful and unsuccessful person.The successful producer and writer, Jonathan Estrin known for writing many books in the nineties, once said, “The way we spend our time defines who we are.” (Meha 14) People do, in fact, waste their time on things that will not benefit or might even damage them, like alcohol, drugs and smoking.

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Others, spend their valuable time on valuable things will help them grow and take advantage of the opportunities ahead. When we focus on things that actually matter, whether it is our moral development, building our relationships, growing our career, or taking care of our health and well-being, this will help us become the person we want to be in the short 7 years we have to define ourselves. A good analogy to use with time is to imagine you wake up every day with $86,400 in your bank account, and at the end of 24 hours it is all gone whether you used it or not. (Admin 13)

The next day you get another $86,400. So many people would waste it on cheap stuff that would last only a very short time. Then there are others that make sure they are putting that money towards a worthwhile investment that would last a life time. Every day has 86,400 seconds which are deposited into your life account. At the end of the day, once they are all gone, you get a new 86,400 seconds. We would never waste it if it was money, so we need to stop wasting it when it comes to time. Those seconds are so much more powerful than dollars because you can always make more dollars, you cannot always make more time.Occasionally, a major event in life to help us to realize the value of time. Rather than make all the mistakes ourselves, we can look at scenarios that aid us in visualizing the value of time at all levels. To realize the value of a year, talk with a cancer patient that has been given six months to live. For the value of a month, talk with a mother who lost their child in the eighth month of pregnancy. To realize the value of one week, talk with the people in Florida that will experience a hurricane in one week’s time. To realize the value of one hour, talk with a mother who spends time on the phone with her child who’s at to college out of state. To realize the value of one minute, talk with the person who just missed a flight. To realize the value of one second, talk with the person who was seconds behind an accident. To realize the value of a millisecond, talk with the person who finished second in the Olympic 100 meter.

The very successful co-founder of Apple, ink, Steve Jobs once said, “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.” (Jobs 14) So there’s good news and there’s bad news. The bad news is time flies; the good news is you are the pilot. (Altshuler 13) Sometimes we think that other people are wasting our time, but it is really us giving them the permission to do that. To understand what people’s views were on time I conducted a variety of interviews and surveys. Being a senior, I wanted to see what other Seniors’ perspectives were on time and how confident they felt with their time management. I accomplished this through a five-question survey on Survey Monkey. The first question asked was: “What do you regard as the most valuable resource?” Out of the thirty responses, 65% answered time, 10% said money, 10% said water and 15% of the seniors said something else. (See figure 1.1) These responses were somewhat surprising in my eyes. With time, you can accomplish anything; these other options can always be regained, but not time. The second survey question was: “How often do you find yourself running out of time?” Everyone but one person answered that they were running out of time at some point or other. (See figure 1.2) These were rather expected results because deadlines are always close and time is short. The third survey question was: “How well do you time manage?” The answers given were also rather expected. All participants but two stated that they could use some type of improvement when it comes to time management. (See figure 1.3) Time management is a very important tool for every aspect of our life and without it our lives become a complete mess.

The next question on the survey was: “If time was money would you treat it differently?” 60% of the respondents said that it was likely that they would treat time differently if it was money. The other 40% of the people said that that it was unlikely. (See figure 1.4) This was a little bit surprising to me because of the number of people that said they wouldn’t treat it differently if it was money. This could be a good thing because if people wouldn’t treat it differently than they could already be treating it as valuable as money. For those that said that they would treat it differently, time is money so it is a good habit to treat it that way. The last survey question asked was: “Do you consider time a precious resource?” The results were quite expected; everyone but one person said yes. (See figure 1.5) Time is undoubtedly the most valuable resource we have.To get more people’s views on time and a little advice for myself, I conducted interviews with business owners, students and teachers. In all the interviews, the first question I asked the interviewee was: “How would you best define time?” I got several very interesting different definitions. Every one of the students and teachers’ answers said something about a measurement of something. Measurement is a good word to use when defining time. One my favorite definitions I got out of these interviews was from a teacher who said, “Time is a measurement against deadlines.” (Kralik 16) The business owners took a little bit of a different approach to this question. Two out of the three I interviewed mentioned something about a commodity that will run out if you don’t use it. (Hewins 16) (Hughes 16) Time goes by the expression, use it or lose it.

The next question I asked in all interviews was: “In your eyes, what is more valuable, money or time? This question has a pretty obvious answer and everyone answered with the same answer, time. The interviewees said they thought time is more valuable because you can always gain more money but not more time. It can be hard to view your time as money, but the analogy stated earlier about every second being a dollar that is getting deposited into your bank account daily helps you envision it better.The third question I asked in all my interviews was: “What are some techniques you use to save time?” I was surprised how all three groups of people used the same or similar tactics to save time. These tactics consisted of making lists, prioritizing, scheduling, delegating, multitasking, working smarter not harder, documenting procedures, being observant, simplifying tasks and blocking out time for certain things. (Kralik 16) (Hewins 16) (Hughes 16)

If someone is struggling with time management and needs a few tactics, it would be a good idea to talk to someone successful and experienced and they could give a few key tips. From here on, the interviews had different questions from each other due to the difference of professions. In the business owners’ interviews, the next question I asked was: “How has good time management contributed to your business success?” All three business owners gave quite different answers on this one. The first owner, Tony Hewins, CEO of Equipment Assets, had more of a management perspective on the question, which you could tell through his answer. He said that, “Good time management has led to us being very open- minded, which has made us flexible.” He continued, “By simplifying things, it clears up all the monotonous work so you can focus more on the big picture.” (Hewins 16) This shows that his tactic of simplifying things had a direct result in his business because they could focus on the big picture and their main goals. The second business owner, Joe Cavatio, Operations manager of Western Global, had a more operational approach to this question as could be seen through his answer. He stated, “Good time management has really brought down costs. When efficiencies were brought in that saved time, they could charge less to their customers and better compete with their competitors.” (Cavataio 17)

Different tactics, like being lean, have saved this business weeks’ worth of work and have allowed them to better compete in the marketplace. This is another example of how time management can affect the efficiency of businesses.The third owner, Scott Hughes, CEO of Metron branding, had more of a sales approach, which was evident in his answer. He said, “Good time management has helped us because when salesmen are out on the road, they will schedule more than just one appointment which saves travel expenses.” (Hughes 16) This shows that the tactic of efficient scheduling can save businesses thousands of dollars in travel expenses. In view of getting some insight into what people expect out of a senior, time management wise, I asked the business owners and teachers: “What time management attributes would you be looking for in a graduating student?” The responses were quite helpful. Almost all of the interviewees said that they would look for some type of daily planning which was actually being used, in view of properly managing time. Other things that they would be looking for in a senior were that he or she be punctual, value time, avoid procrastination, self-driven, and able to balance work and the rest of life (Hewins 16)(Hughes 16).

Time management is a key attribute for everyone in view of effectiveness in all areas of life. In order to be a successful time manager, you have to start by accepting the fact that you might have to change. Once you are committed to change, the next step is to take action. The first action step is to adapt to a daily planning method that works for you. While what works will be different for many, the key is to find a planning system that you like and is easy to use and read. On a daily basis, simplify and record what you need to do and block out time for things that are more of a privilege, like games, sports, movies, etc. A good method to go by: Worry about today and plan for tomorrow. After adapting to a method of day-to-day planning, the next step is to work on protecting this planned environment. There are several factors that contribute to properly protecting your planned time. First and foremost, you have to be able to say no to optional things that will overload your schedule and overwhelm you. Accepting extra activities, without the appropriate time, can make you focus on the wrong areas which can result in losing focus of the bigger picture. Part of protecting this planned environment is making sure that you find a balance between work and fun. While working, it can be hard to maintain consistent focus, so in order to be more productive, take frequent breaks in order to be rewarded by the results. The famous old American poet, Carl Sandburg, once said, “Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.” (Sandburg 15) Your time is in your hands. It is your decision how to spend it, but be wise because life is short, and time is the most precious thing that you have.

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Essence and Importance of Time. (2021, Oct 15). Retrieved from

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