06 February 2016


One of the classes that I'm teaching is currently involved in a series of discussions about time. We're exploring the nature of time--what it is, how it affects us, what life would be like if time acted differently. The discussions are enjoyable and valuable, as students are thinking about something that most of them have never really sat down and considered before. But although I really enjoy the discussions about the nature of time, I'm much more interested in the question of what we do with our time.

Time is a difficult topic to discuss with many people because most of us don't pay a lot of attention to it other than to look at the clock to find out what time it is so that we're not late to something or so that we know how long we have left to be doing something or simply because we're curious. But one of the quotations of the website points out that chunks of time are literally chunks of our lives, and how we spend them determines how we spend our lives.

Personally, I don't want to waste too much time. It's too valuable. I don't want to be that person who never accomplished the things I hope to accomplish simply because I spent so much time planted in front of some screen or doing nothing valuable that I "never had time" to do the things I wanted to do. That said, though, I'm all in favor of rest and relaxation, because I know it's necessary. If I'm not rested, then the "valuable time" that I spend will be much less productive because my brain won't be functioning as well.

I've written a number of books, I've earned four post-graduate degrees, I've spent four years in the Army, and I've lived six years in Europe. I think I've spent my time fairly well. But I also know that in addition to my rest time, I've completely wasted large chunks of time--and if I've been able to do what I've done while wasting a lot of time, then I can't imagine how much time has been wasted by others who still haven't done the things they want to do.

And I truly don't say that as a judgment--it's simply an observation. I think it's important that we all take stock of our time and figure out where it's going, because we're never going to get it back again. How might you use it differently? How might you make time for the things you hope to accomplish? Perhaps making a schedule would help, one that you actually commit yourself to follow. And if you put on that schedule a half an hour or an hour a day to work on the book you want to write or the hobby you want to pursue, then who knows where you'll be after six months or a year?

Time's not really a commodity, but in many ways it resembles one. How you spend it determines the return you get from it. Spend your time wisely and one day you'll be able to look back and see just how much you've done--and just how much you've rested and relaxed, too.


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