Feb 10, 2009

Why You Cannot Compare Money and Time

"Do not waste time, for that is the stuff life is made of."
Benjamin Franklin

Time management tips would skyrocket in popularity if they could reliably convert money into time. But since they can't, make the most of these next few minutes by learning just how the time you have is infinitely more important than the money you'd like to have.

Time management tips sometimes refer to time as "the new money", because time is now valued so highly. But you may also be tugged by temptations to invest much precious time to save just a few dollars. Read this article whenever you need support in affirming the true worth of your time.

Time is the ultimate irreplaceable resource

For all the efforts to compare time and money, you live best when you recognize that time and money differ dramatically. Even if you have temporarily run out of money, you can acquire more money, invest or save it, and draw on it later. Not so with time. When you run out of time, you run out of life.

Furthermore, time is just as perishable right now as it is when you draw your last breath. You can't conjure an extra hour out of thin air on a busy day. This presents you with a serious responsibility: each day will end. And no matter how much money you own, you will someday run out of time.

Wasted hours kill life opportunities

This most serious casualty is often overlooked. When you seriously consider the worth of your brief life, it's easier to recognize that wasting time can be tragic.

One of the best strategies for grasping the full potential of each day is to envision yourself on your deathbed. What time choices do you look back on with pleasure, pride and gratitude? Which fill you with remorse? What remains undone, and how do you feel about it?

Visualizing yourself at the end of your life is not a novel idea, but it's underused. You can only capitalize on its benefits if you actually participate in the exercise, and as often as necessary. As you integrate its lessons, one conclusion starkly presents itself. When you "kill time", you are killing a part of who you can be.

Even Wasted Time Can Create Value

Misspent time, clearly and compassionately understood, can be converted to priceless lessons. Lessons, of course, which retain their value only if you put them to work for you. All you need to do is commit to managing your time choices better, starting now.

While taking in time's scarcity initially sounds grim, honoring time's uniqueness is really a recipe for personal fulfillment. Difficult decisions become easier. As you learn to value what's most important to you, the wisdom you develop helps you take important risks. In this way, you enlarge your life. And you enjoy the unfolding treasure of the new day.

Now, ask yourself: What is the next step you can take to start finding more time?

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