Wasting Time

by Ron Potter

This concept was brought to me by my favorite author, Shane Parrish, through his farnamstreetblog.com.

It’s a review of the book “How to Live on 24 Hours a Day” by Arnold Bennett.

While I believe this fits into today’s issues, Bennett wrote this book in 1910.

This is one of the things written about in 1910:

The 1910s were a time of great change in American industry. The managerial side of industry was growing and American corporations were reorganizing and becoming more efficient. Technology was available to make corporations run more smoothly and increase production.

A few of the things happening in 2020:

The 2020s are a time of great change in American industry. The managerial side of industry is shrinking and American corporations are being forced to reorganize and become more efficient. Technology is available to make corporations run more smoothly, increase productivity, and help teams run virtually.

What are you doing with your time?

Shane pulls out a few quotes from Bennett’s book.

You cannot draw on the future. Impossible to get into debt! You can only waste the passing moment. You cannot waste tomorrow, it is kept from you.

Remember: You have to live on this 24 hours of time. Out of it you have to spin health, pleasure, money, content, respect and the evolution of your immortal soul. It’s right use…is a matter of the highest urgency.

So, what are you doing with your time?

One of our blogs a couple of weeks ago included the following quote:

Executives who were bracing for a months-long disruption are now thinking in terms of years. Their job has changed from riding it out to reinventing.

Reinventing

Our work-life is changing.  You may have been “bracing for a months-long disruption” to your work life.  But now we’re starting to think in terms of years, or maybe even forever.

How are you spending your time?  Another quote that Shane pulls from Bennett’s book says:

Newspapers are full of articles explaining how to live on such-and-such a sum…but I have never seen an essay ‘how to live on 24 hours a day.’ Yet it has been said that time is money. That proverb understates the case. Time is a great deal more than money. If you have time, you can obtain money-usually. But…you cannot buy yourself a minute more time.

You cannot buy yourself a minute more time!  Bennett makes another statement:

The supply of time is truly a daily miracle. You wake up in the morning and lo! your purse is magically filled with 24 hours of the unmanufactured tissue of the universe of your life! It is yours.

It’s a miracle!  Every day you wake up with a new 24 hours that are yours!

Don’t Waste Time

Even though you have a new 24 hours every day, the time that you waste will never be recovered.  Again, Bennett says:

You have to live on this 24 hours of time. Out of it you have to spin health, pleasure, money, content, respect and the evolution of your immortal soul. It’s right use…is a matter of the highest urgency.

Do you put the highest urgency on your time?

Don’t Be Busy

I’m not talking about being “busy.”  I was once told that the word ‘busy’ is represented by two symbols in the Japanese language.  The first symbol represents “people.”  The second symbol represents “destroyer.”  Therefore, a translation of the Japanese symbols for busy is “people-destroyer.”

Being busy is not productive.  Consciously deciding what to do with the time that we have is productive.  In fact, the word “decide” means to consciously figure out what not to do.

Don’t be busy.  Decide what you are not going to spend your time on and then consciously spend it on the things that are important. Those things should include (but not be limited to):

  • Health
  • Pleasure
  • Family
  • Your immortal soul
  • Reinventing yourself

Reinvent Yourself

Just don’t be busy!  Reinvent yourself!

Bennett says “You can turn over a new leaf every hour if you choose.”

We all have excuses for not taking the time to reinvent ourselves.

  • Too Young – not enough experience
  • Too Old – can’t change my habits
  • Too Poor – no resources available
  • Too Rich – need to “protect” the wealth
  • Too Secure – if I change I might fail.  I’ll lose my security

What’s your excuse for not reinventing yourself?  Believe me, the world is moving much too fast not to reinvent yourself!

My father’s generation didn’t have the urgency.  The country was rebuilding after WWII and he was riding the wave.

My generation has needed to reinvent a few times.  I went from engineer to micro-computer entrepreneur to executive coach/consultant to animator.

My kid’s generations have moved even faster as the world changes around them.

My oldest grandson graduated from high school this year and I’m already watching him reinvent himself as he goes.

Time is Limited

24 new hours a day is a great gift.  But it’s easy to waste 10 minutes here or 2 hours there.  Its right use is the highest urgency.

Don’t be busy.  Reinvent yourself.

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