Day 317 of the Calendar Year

The economics of time- there is an economy to everything. There is an economy of commerce, an economy of ecology, an economy of travel and an economy of time. However, not much has been written about the economics of time. So we must ask the question: what are the key principles of an economics of time? I would suggest the following key principles:

1. Time and money, like matter and energy are interchangeable.
2. Saving time means saving money.
3. Time is a valuable resource. Wasting time is wasting money.
4. Time cannot be saved, like we save money.
5. Time grows in value as we age, while money diminishes in value.
6. We all start out each day anew with 24 hours of time.
7. We can leverage time like we leverage money.
8. Time is not equal for all people. Some of us can use time more productively
than others.
9. Unless you prioritize your time, you will never know what it is worth.
10. Each day of our lives has the potential to be the most valuable day we will
ever spend.
11. Once you are dead, you forfeit all of your time.

Adelheid Blesecker writes that a view such as described above (wherein time is regarded as a scare resource) “ensures the acceleration of economic processes. This in turn damages the reproductive cycles of social life and the natural environment” (Economic Rationales and a Wealth of Time, Time and Society, Vol 7, No 1, 1998). He argues that a future sustainable economy must be based on an understanding of time wherein our natural cycles and rhythms are taken into account. As one example, a system of work based on linear time and traditional time clocks is counterproductive to our natural work rhythms and cycles. Who can be productive, innovative or resourceful as soon as the clock strikes 8 AM and then work like a machine for 8 hours pumping out ideas, innovation and imagination? Although we espouse living in the new knowledge era, we still treat work and time as though we lived in the feudal era.

I believe some of the principles I listed above can be useful and some can be counterproductive. Time to me is a valuable resource. However, I do not see time the same as money. I do not wake up with twenty four new dollars each morning to spend and as far as I know, most robbers are still looking for money and not time. In addition, time does get more valuable as we age and it is a scarce commodity. Maybe we should think of time as we do jewels. We regard them as precious and we admire them and want to save them and keep them in good condition.

What if each day our goal was to treat our twenty four hours as twenty four precious jewels? We would nurture and cherish each one of these twenty four jewels by admiring and protecting them. What would your day be like, if you treated your time as precious jewels? Each time an hour is up, you must put your precious gem away until tomorrow. Would you think about your day any differently? How would you spend your gems today? What would you do with them? What would it mean to you to keep your gems safe and in good condition?

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