New Year’s Priceless Gifts (3): A Year of Valuing Time


“Time is Money” is a well-known saying that highlights the importance of valuing time and not spending it on trifles. When we put this saying into practice, it seems that it is not that easy in the face of this distraction-packed world. Ironically, while some people tend to strive for earning money, they do not pay the same attention to valuing their time and making the most of it.

The past two years put us face-to-face with the challenge of using our time wisely (read other challenges in article 1 and article 2) since we have been granted a big chunk of it that was consumed before in long meetings, getting stuck in traffic, etc. This has been an excellent opportunity to make the most of it, but were we good keepers and users?

Not sure about the answer yet? To know how valuing time could be of unmatched importance, let us have a look at a society in which time is the currency and the thing that keeps someone alive.

In Time

In the American science fiction movie In Time, currency is not banknotes; it is time. The inhabitants of the society stop aging at 25, and each one has a clock on their arm that counts down how long they have to live. When they run out of time, they die. Every minute, second, and even a fraction of second is of extreme importance to be used in the correct way and not to be wasted.

This imaginary society is not far away; we lived in it during the past year when we were granted time. Some could make use of it, while others could not deal with it wisely and let it slip between their fingers. In the movie, wasting time leads to death; that simple. As such, dealing with time requires real caution.

Not lacking it, but managing it

During lockdown, the main problem that emerged was not the lack of time, but how to manage it wisely to get the most of it; otherwise, we would be in big trouble. The problem is not necessarily in the concept, but in the faulty execution; the concept of time-management has become even more strongly needed, as well as keeping an eye on the way we spend our time to enhance our lives.

Time management could be defined as the process of organizing and planning how to divide your time between specific activities, and to get more done in less time. It is very possible that you have heard of the concept of working smarter, not harder, which has been widely spread; this can relate to time management.

Time management also helps you decide which things are important and urgent to be done right now, and what is not a priority. Perhaps it is not that easy while put into practice in the beginning, but it will save you a lot of energy and effort afterwards, and will make your life easier. Experts divide time management into three major parts: prioritizing tasks and activities, controlling procrastination, and managing commitments.

The Time Management Manifesto

  1. Prioritize tasks by making a list of all of them for the day or week, and label them as urgent, important, or not important. This also includes the “No” response to things that you do not want to do or find them not a priority at the moment.
  2. Control procrastination as the more you put a task off, the more you would feel stressed, especially if this task is important. This would require structuring your time (daily/weekly/monthly); more importantly, break down large tasks into small feasible ones and create short-term deadlines, which would help you meet the long-term ones.
  3. Manage commitments and keep in mind that “busy does not mean productive”; choosing what to spend your time on would save you load and stress, and you would feel the limits of your time expanding. This could be achieved by letting go of useless commitments and taking responsibility for the urgent and important ones.
  4. Keep track of your time to make the appropriate adjustment. This can be accomplished by using a mobile application or writing down what you do and tasks you work on in a notebook, then get back to it to know how you did.
  5. Use a to-do-list; it will help you stay focused and motivate you as you become able to see what you have achieved, and what remains.
Now, is not this a good time to embrace the precious gifts, which the past few years have brought to us?


Credits: Banner Image/Freepik

*The article was published in SCIplanet, Winter and Spring 2021 issue.

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