It’s time to redefine time management

Time flows on. What you really have to ‘manage’ is yourself

"But what minutes! Count them by sensation,
and not by calendars,
and each moment is a day."
—Benjamin Disraeli

Imagine if time was a bank account and, each morning, you were credited with 86,400 seconds. Further imagine that if by the end of that day you hadn’t spent any of the credits, they would instantly be deducted from your account. What would you do? My guess is that you would make every effort to spend them as best as you can. It’s amazing, isn’t it, how much we take time for granted and then regret the moments we lose or waste?

In transport economics, the value of time is the opportunity cost of the time that a traveller spends on their journey. In essence, this makes it the amount that a traveller would be willing to pay in order to save time, or the amount they would accept as compensation for lost time. The value of time varies considerably from person to person and depends upon the purpose of the journey, but can generally be divided into two sets of valuations: working time and non-working time. I guess that sums up life very well, and it is important that we make a balanced investment into both work as well as play time.

One of the biggest challenges that people face is personal time management and the ability to prioritise. Let’s face it: we all have our own quirky little habits that we have adopted and have been guilty of putting ourselves and other people under unnecessary pressure by just not being as well organised as we could be. This can have a big effect on our stress levels too. The more efficiently we manage our time, the better we will feel generally.

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This was first published in the September 2013 issue of Complete Wellbeing.

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Liggy Webb
Liggy Webb is a leading authority in the field of behavioural change and positive psychology. She is based in the UK and is the founder director of The Learning Architect an international people development organisation. As an experienced learning and development professional she works as a consultant with a wide range of organisations including the United Nations and the NHS. Liggy’s next book The Happy Handbook is a practical guide to holistic happiness.


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