time is more valuable than money
We set sails for the West Coast in just over 24 hours from now. As we say our farewells to people who we did manage to squeeze in one last supper with, the old adage “Time is money” doesn’t fit the new economy or the American affluence. Time is more valuable than money, and there’s just not enough to go around. We couldn’t get meal times with everyone we wanted to, although the big picnic idea last Saturday did consolidate more people together for one big farewell at one time, but not everyone could make it on that date/time.
While we’ve been packing like mad during the past couple of weeks, and aiming to move cross country without a moving truck, we did wind up having to ship a dozen or so boxes. Instead of spending time to sort and toss certain files, it saved more time (on this side of the move) to pack, ship, and sort later, than to sort now and ship less, because the clock is ticking.
Time is a limited resource. It actually levels the playing field. It doesn’t matter how rich or poor you are, we all have the same amount of time. Everyone has 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. You can’t store up time, the clock is always ticking. Even multitasking doesn’t really save time.
What you can do is choose how to use your time — you can choose ahead of time by planning (and plan for unplanned times) or choose in the moment by not planning. (The latter is less efficient and uses up more time, but I still much prefer the latter.) I’d been a part of a ministry that produces the Life Management Study (there’s an online version too), which is all about managing life by managing time, promising to free people from anxiety and stress. It’s a rigorous 12-week course, and for those who continue using the LMS tools and techniques, it works.
I find myself shopping much more online than in person, because of time. This InformationWeek article, Time: It Really Is Money — Companies can prosper by helping customers save time, makes time sense to me ::
To see what I mean by the cost of time, think about having to buy something. You have to pay to buy a product, and you also have to spend some time completing the transaction. For example, if you want to buy a book to take on vacation, you can drive to a bookstore, find something on the shelves, stand in line to pay for it, and drive back home. If this takes a quarter of an hour and the cash price for the book is $20, the total cost of the book is $20 plus 15 minutes of your time. Contrast this customer experience with an alternative: You buy the book by going on the Web, typing a few keystrokes, and clicking on a button to complete the sale. The book will arrive in your mailbox or on your doorstep in a few days. Because you have to pay $5 for shipping and handling, the direct monetary cost of this transaction might be $25 in charges on your credit card. But the online purchase takes only two minutes of your time. Which, then, is the less expensive way to buy the book?