Ben Franklin once said that “time is money.” Therefore, you should not go around wasting your time or that of others because it will ultimately cost you money.

Apparently, he was not the only one who felt this way because the slogan went viral, and is now a common principle in the lives of many. There is, however, an issue with this theory: time is not equivalent to money!

Time and Money Defined

Time is defined as a limited period or interval and has a finite duration. On the other hand, money is defined as any circulating medium of exchange.

Did you notice that time is finite and money continuously circulates? Time holds a much greater value than money due its scarce nature, and there is nothing that you can do to earn more of it once it’s gone.  Money can be replaced in most instances, but you cannot turn back the hands of time.

If you spend your collegiate years buried in a textbook hoping to earn a 4.0 GPA, you may actually achieve your goal. However, if your reasoning was solely to land a dream job, you may find yourself at a major disadvantage if the employer is seeking well-rounded individuals because you only focused on school and nothing more. It is totally possible to use money to rectify this issue: simply re-enroll in school and get involved in student activities. You may end up being selected for the position, but you will never have the opportunity to relive those four years of your life again.

In some instances, many individuals also equate time to money in the workplace. They calculate how much money is needed to cover their expenses, and immediately come up with an hourly figure along with the number of hours that have to be spent on the job to accomplish this objective. While it is a proven way to ensure that needs are met, it fails to consider the time factor once again.  Salaries vary by job, but the time spent earning wages is indispensable. You can always make up for lost wages in subsequent jobs, but you can’t buy back the years spent with prior employers.

Some who are self-employed also use a similar equation. An amount that reflects what they would like to be compensated (to cover their needs and wants) for a particular project is assessed, either on an hourly basis or as a flat rate. Instead of making the bottom line your focal point, exert as much energy as possible into your work to ensure that value is added to each client that you are serving. They will more than likely take notice, tip you for your efforts, and refer you to other customers. End result: time well spent and a financial boost to your business.

Formula for Success

In all of these examples, the individuals focused on attaining a desired outcome in a set amount of time. While the end results may have been in their favor, their focus was too narrow.

Your efforts can definitely earn, and in some situations, lose you money. The good news is that the supply of money is abundant, and with the right actions, you can earn a ton of it.

Unfortunately, this is not the case for time. It is important to understand that no matter how hard you work towards accomplishing objectives, time cannot be purchased. Therefore, you should focus on making the most of each day and living a richer life because once the time lapses, it can never be retrieved.

So, the next time you find yourself thinking about the famous words of Benjamin Franklin, remember that time is not money, and should be used wisely!

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Featured photo credit: Fey Ilyas via Flickr

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