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It is often believed that time starts moving faster when you grow up and then slows down again. Indeed, when you are a teenager or even just a kid, it feels like every day lasts forever, especially when you are required to pay attention during lessons, or when you need to clean your room. As you become an adult, there is never enough time for anything, since you have to work, take care of your own family and juggle a lot of responsibilities. When you get even older, and it is time to retire, suddenly you can use all that free time to enjoy yourself and be happy, but the energy seems to have left you.
We can draw a conclusion from this, that when you are young and do not have enough freedom or resources to do something, as well as when you are old and have no energy, there seems to be plenty of time. When you are engaged with important tasks, there is never enough time. This roughly means that the busier you are, the more you engage in tasks, the further your productivity will raise. That is why, personally, I have always viewed time as a resource.
As we look at the average working day of an adult, we can see that eight hours are devoted solely to work, eight are reserved for sleeping, and the left eight are filled with “the rest”: hobbies, families, loved ones, responsibilities, volunteering, relaxation. If, for example, we choose to look for another job that will take another four hours from our “rest time”, we will be spending less time with our family or doing what we love. Even though this time will be used to gain money for supporting our family, it will be useless, since we will be spending less time with them, and that is what actually matters. From this, we can conclude that the way we use time reflects on the quality of our life, and it is the greatest resource we have.
A lot of self-help books and time-management techniques, such as written on this website, recommend taking a look at our daily schedule and seeing how we use this precious resource, writing down all the activities we do in a day. If we see that we spend too much time googling cats, or playing apps, we really need to change this in order to be more productive.
Say, we have a dream of writing a book or learning how to dance. However, we usually just tell ourselves, that there is no time for these activities. That is because our most treasured resource goes onto activities we do not need. Also, we view our dreams as something big and totally unachievable. Sure, writing a book in a day is impossible, but if you write just one page for a day, in a year you will have written a big book! And a year will pass, regardless of whether you write or not, so that is why you should use time in the best way you possibly can.
Sometimes we can hear a person say that they simply “do not have time” for an activity or a friend. But what does that mean? It simply means that it is not in their priority. People always will get around and find a few minutes to do something they love or need to do. They will find the time to go to their favorite concert, they will find time to play a videogame or read a book they love, or meet with a person they care about. If you think that you are out of time to do something - for example, go to the gym - try re-phrasing this sentence by saying “Going to the gym is not my priority”. From this sentence you can see that taking care of yourself, staying fit or healthy is not on top of your list. Thinking this way can change your perspective on a lot of things. If you have a friend that never has time to meet up, probably it just means that meeting you is not their time-spending priority. Now think again, do you need a friend like that in your life?
We might feel like there is no time to do something. However, we often forget that time equals money. This means that some time can be bought. If a task is tedious, useless or time-consuming for you, you can always ask someone to do it in exchange for your money. I think there is nothing wrong with this, as it will buy you time to devote yourself to the things that truly matter to you.
Another thing worth mentioning is that no one knows how much time is left for us in our lives.Death is often tragic exactly because it is unpredictable. Since time seems to be a resource that we will always have, especially when we are young and naïve, and do not face the inevitability of death, we are used to the people and things around us. We believe that our loved ones will always be there, and that we will also live forever.
However, when we encounter or realize that death is coming for all things and people, it makes us treasure time more. We often regret not meeting with a person more or caring about unimportant things, making them our priority instead of treasuring our life on earth. Life is the greatest gift we are granted, and time is a resource, so we need to care about the way we will treat this gift.
I truly believe that we should all remember that time is finite, and it should be filled with things that are truly important to us, make us feel productive, happy and unregretful.