My Time Is My Most Valuable Commodity. Is Yours?

Time is such a fascinating topic. I love having discussions about it and trying to understand more deeply the fourth dimension of time. Einstein believed time to be an illusion and real at the same time. We know time is subject to motion and gravity which is why velocity can either speed time up or slow it down and it is why elevation either slows time down or speeds it up. Time is directly tied into Einstein’s theory of relativity. No matter how it is essentially defined, time is the most valuable commodity any of us can manage.

I say manage because none of us truly ‘own’ time. At best we are stewards of the time we are blessed with, thus it is critical to manage it as best we can. On Earth (time is different on every planet because of the planets size and its distance from the sun) each of us are allotted 169 hours a week. If 49 hours are spent sleeping every week, that leaves us with 120 hours. (Your individual numbers will vary, I am simply working with averages) If you work a typical 40 hour week that leaves 80 hours. What are most of you doing with that time?

This may come as a shock to many but statistics say that the majority of people spend 50, FIFTY!, of those 80 hours in front of some sort of screen whether it be a television, a computer, a tablet, or a phone. Granted, some of that screen time may be while people are working, but this then either gives them more free time or these people then spend more than the average fifty hours in front of a screen. The rest of those 80 hours are spent in a variety of ways; commuting, tending to family responsibilities, activities that distract you from how much you hate you job etc.

Each one of us is given the same amount of time to manage and when it’s gone, it’s gone for good. You can’t get it back and all the money in the world doesn’t get you a do over.

Manage your time by effectively creating a schedule that accounts for your time on a daily basis. Chunking your time like this creates order and will create a productive habit of time management. Consciously work into your schedule time to distract yourself. Distractions are necessary but treat them like cheesecake. Cheesecake is fantastic but too much of it is not healthy. But when you allow yourself cheesecake once in a while you enjoy it even more. One tip, distraction time is not self-care time. Sekf care has its own section. Be mindful of the people you surround yourself with. Social influence is the most powerful lever on our thinking, emotions, and behavior. People can add value to your time or suck it dry like a vampire.

The average life expectancy is 77 years old. This equates to 9,240 waking hours. If you ever needed a sense of urgency to do what you want in life and go after it, think about how many hours you’ve already spent in your life, how many you potentially have left, and how many hours you’ve spent doing what you want. You can’t get hours you’ve spent back but you can be more productive with the hours you have left.

Elliot is a personal development author. His latest book, "The Bitter & The Sweet: Benefits of a Balanced Perspective in Life, and How to Achieve It" out now.