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The Time is Money Myth Debunked

The Time is Money Myth Debunked

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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Last Updated on September 11, 2019

Why To-Do Lists Don’t Work (And How to Change That)

Why To-Do Lists Don’t Work (And How to Change That)

How often do you feel overwhelmed and disorganized in life, whether at work or home? We all seem to struggle with time management in some area of our life; one of the most common phrases besides “I love you” is “I don’t have time”. Everyone suggests working from a to-do list to start getting your life more organized, but why do these lists also have a negative connotation to them?

Let’s say you have a strong desire to turn this situation around with all your good intentions—you may then take out a piece of paper and pen to start tackling this intangible mess with a to-do list. What usually happens, is that you either get so overwhelmed seeing everything on your list, which leaves you feeling worse than you did before, or you make the list but are completely stuck on how to execute it effectively.

To-do lists can work for you, but if you are not using them effectively, they can actually leave you feeling more disillusioned and stressed than you did before. Think of a filing system: the concept is good, but if you merely file papers away with no structure or system, the filing system will have an adverse effect. It’s the same with to-do lists—you can put one together, but if you don’t do it right, it is a fruitless exercise.

Why Some People Find That General To-Do Lists Don’t Work?

Most people find that general to-do lists don’t work because:

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  • They get so overwhelmed just by looking at all the things they need to do.
  • They don’t know how to prioritize the items on list.
  • They feel that they are continuously adding to their list but not reducing it.
  • There’s a sense of confusion seeing home tasks mixed with work tasks.

Benefits of Using a To-Do List

However, there are many advantages working from a to-do list:

  • You have clarity on what you need to get done.
  • You will feel less stressed because all your ‘to do’s are on paper and out of your mind.
  • It helps you to prioritize your actions.
  • You don’t overlook so many tasks and forget anything.
  • You feel more organized.
  • It helps you with planning.

4 Golden Rules to Make a To-Do List Work

Here are my golden rules for making a “to-do” list work:

1. Categorize

Studies have shown that your brain gets overwhelmed when it sees a list of 7 or 8 options; it wants to shut down.[1] For this reason, you need to work from different lists. Separate them into different categories and don’t have more than 7 or 8 tasks on each one.

It might work well for you to have a “project” list, a “follow-up” list, and a “don’t forget” list; you will know what will work best for you, as these titles will be different for everybody.

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2. Add Estimations

You don’t merely need to know what has to be done, but how long it will take as well in order to plan effectively.

Imagine on your list you have one task that will take 30 minutes, another that could take 1 hour, and another that could take 4 hours. You need to know the moment you look at the task, otherwise you undermine your planning, so add an extra column to your list and include your estimation of how long you think the task will take, and be realistic!

Tip: If you find it a challenge to estimate accurately, then start by building this skill on a daily basis. Estimate how long it will take to get ready, cook dinner, go for a walk, etc., and then compare this to the actual time it took you. You will start to get more accurate in your estimations.

3. Prioritize

To effectively select what you should work on, you need to take into consideration: priority, sequence and estimated time. Add another column to your list for priority. Divide your tasks into four categories:

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  • Important and urgent
  • Not urgent but important
  • Not important but urgent
  • Not important or urgent

You want to work on tasks that are urgent and important of course, but also, select some tasks that are important and not urgent. Why? Because these tasks are normally related to long-term goals, and when you only work on tasks that are urgent and important, you’ll feel like your day is spent putting out fires. You’ll end up neglecting other important areas which most often end up having negative consequences.

Most of your time should be spent on the first two categories.

4.  Review

To make this list work effectively for you, it needs to become a daily tool that you use to manage your time and you review it regularly. There is no point in only having the list to record everything that you need to do, but you don’t utilize it as part of your bigger time management plan.

For example: At the end of every week, review the list and use it to plan the week ahead. Select what you want to work on taking into consideration priority, time and sequence and then schedule these items into your calendar. Golden rule in planning: don’t schedule more than 75% of your time.

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Bottom Line

So grab a pen and paper and give yourself the gift of a calm and clear mind by unloading everything in there and onto a list as now, you have all the tools you need for it to work. Knowledge is useless unless it is applied—how badly do you want more time?

To your success!

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Featured photo credit: Emma Matthews via unsplash.com

Reference

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