Time: Our Most Valuable Resource

Jul 1, 2023 | Workforce

By Carlos Barboza

We are given a parenthesis that opens at birth and a parenthesis that closes at death, and within that lifetime falls on us much of the enormous responsibility for making our lives meaningful or having a wasted life. Obviously, every day we live is one less day in our life, but this, instead of being discouraging, should encourage us to live every day as the most precious resource.

Here are some misconceptions of time:

• “Time flies,” but in reality it is a fixed rate.

• “We have to save time.” Time cannot be stored or borrowed like money.

• “You have to make up for lost time,” it is a vain hope, a lost minute cannot be recovered. Time gone, lost time.

• “There is not enough time.” There is time for everything, if you know how to manage it wisely.

In the management’s world, there are also myths about time management:

• “The most active managers achieve more.” Actually, doing more does not mean doing better.

• “Delayed decisions are better,” but it can also make the problem worse. Monsters must be killed when they are babies, before they grow up.

• “The higher the level, the better the decision,” but the impact of errors can also be greater.

• “Only he can make the decision” is often an act of omnipotence.

The use of time shows us the challenge of living in accordance with the purposes and values that matter to us, with a sense of responsibility and transcendence.

The use of time shows us the challenge of living in accordance with the purposes and values that matter to us, with a sense of responsibility and transcendence. The best-selling book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey, explains habits that help us “achieve a high level of effectiveness in all relevant aspects of life.” In the habit of personal time management, it tells us about the urgent (activities that require immediate action) and the important (activities that are related to the results or purposes that we want to obtain). Covey tells us that when we focus on what is important (good nutrition, exercise, acquiring knowledge, reducing stress, building quality relationships, family, spirituality, rational use of resources, healthy leisure, recognizing good opportunities, planning, prevention), then the urgent (diseases, poverty, family breakdown, stress) are minimized.

A useful guide to live with what is important in mind: Expect the Best (Visualization), Energy (Health), Evolution (Intellectual Growth), Emotion (Social, Self-Esteem), and Spirituality (Connections that are somewhat higher than the material, nature, transcendence).

We live in a remarkable time. We have an infinite wealth of information, connections and resources at our fingertips, thanks to the internet and smartphones. But what we don’t have is an abundance of time or unlimited attention spans, both of which are scarce resources.

Hobbies like social media, trivial phone calls, useless meetings, and unproductive hustle fuel future urgencies. While the internet is a wonderful tool, it has its perverse side as a distraction. Social networks, applications, digital platforms and television, due to their ease of access, the attractiveness of their format and the variety of their content, have created a generation of distracted and introverted adolescents and young people, with panic attacks, few social skills; as well as adults who, out of ego, show feigned happiness and insubstantial comments exposed to the public on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

There are Influencers with thousands or millions of followers whose only merit is extravagance, lying advice, incitement to consumerism, offering miraculous shortcuts to be happy; and through their perverse modeling they have created a loss of personality and collective identity.

So besides talking about how you spend your time in order to achieve a quality of life (not quantity), think about where you direct your energy and what you give your attention to.

The good thing about your life is that you have the power of choices. For instance, you can put your energy into things that move you forward like doing work you’re proud to put your signature on or you can put your energy into things you can’t control. In the end, it’s your choice. So, be wise about your choices – your energy is a precious resource. It is not worth wasting the precious resources of our life. Give your energy to what matters.

Regarding attention, think of it like it is the currency of achievement, of all the things that will transform the quality of your life. Improving the ability to manage your attention is at the top of that list. Pay attention to things and the people you care about.

Queen Elizabeth I of Great Britain once said, “I would give everything for a little more time.” So, what are you waiting for to squeeze every minute out of your life? My last quote from Alice Morse Earle: “Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That is why it is called the present.” 

Carlos Barboza is the owner of Eco Green Auto Parts, Orlando, FL. Their website is https://ecogautoparts.com and they can be found on Facebook @ecogreenautoparts.

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