How can we make things less time consuming? Are we being consumed by time?

Time consuming generally means something that takes a great deal of time. To consume means to eat, so something that is “time consuming” literally eats our time. Have you ever made a list of time eaters? Probably they will be different from time wasters. We know that time wasters have little or no value, However, time consumers may have a lot of value but they still take a great deal of time to accomplish. It is time consuming to paint your house, find a new babysitter, complete your B.A. degree or write a book. Nevertheless, none of these things is a waste of time. There are so many time consuming activities that we could do and that would add value to our lives. Some wise man once said, anything worth being done will take time. And of course, how many times have you heard, “Rome was not built in a day.” I was amazed to read that Truman Capote spent ten years writing and researching his novel in “Cold Blood.” It simply astounds me that someone could spend ten years on such an activity. Of course, his effort was well worth the time spent.

While we know that anything worth while will take time, it is generally more of a logical thing that we know in our heads. Our heart is telling us to hurry up and lets get it done. We want it now, not in a thousand, hundred or even a few years. It is a testament to the patience of humanity, that we have built so many great things that could not be done overnight. Dr. W. E. Deming used to counsel that “people expect instant pudding.” He meant that any major business improvement would take time and could not be accomplished overnight. Nevertheless, we battle our impatience daily and it sometimes seems a battle we start at birth and continue to death. Witness, the tantrums of little children which later become the impatience of adults unwilling to think long-term or willing to destroy the environment for a few more seconds of prosperity.

How can we get over the hurdle that these large consumptions of time present? We have so many things do to; it is hard to spend a large amount of time on any one activity or effort. Time consumers bog us down and force us to ignore other time activities that may be screaming for our attention. How long should we invest in one activity? How can we tell when a time consumer really will be worth the effort? Is there any way to measure the value of time consumers? Perhaps, the power of Faith is the only measure that we have when it comes to making a long-term effort and finally reaping our rewards?

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