Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Future Value of Time

Every morning I share taxi with two colleagues on the way to the office. And we wait for each other on the taxi rank near the subway station at around 8:20am. When I come earlier, usually between 5 to 10 minutes, I sit down in the subway station and use the time to read business books. You could bridge 5 to 10 minutes easily by doing nothing and just wait. However here is what I have learnt about time.

The first concept about time is the famous “time is money”. Actually, most people, maybe over 90% of working adults get paid by their time. Every one may have a different hourly rate, but principally they sell their time either to their employers or to their clients and customers. People are more generous to waste their time, but they are more careful about money, even small change.

The second concept is that actually you can “invest” your time to generate future value. Learning a skill or building an expertise with your time is a great way to invest your time. By learning smartly you will be able to increase your hourly rate, because you will be capable doing a higher paid job or offer a higher value services. Think about what you could earn with 5 minutes some day and then decide, if you still want to waste it.

The third concept is that time is your life. Suppose you want to live 80 years. That is exactly 42 millions minutes. That's all the time you have and it is very limited and individual, no one can really lend you any more time. So to waste your time is equivalent to waste your life. And maybe this is the most common sin across country and culture boarders in the whole world.


  1. I think keep you motivated is more important than being pushed by worrying about wasting of time, which I used to be.

    Sometimes people just don't have enough initiatives to start something quickly and keep too much time searching for answers, reasons or possible issues... which cannot be seen as a wast of time but actually is quite inefficient.

    I definitely need to make sure that many of my ideas are transformed into programs. :)


  2. Please substitute "answers, reasons or possible issues" with "reason, possible issues or better ideas" in my previous post.