Time is of the Essence

Original article written by Stephen Fear for the Urban Times August 2013.

Time – The Most Important Asset We Have by Stephen Fear

“Time is money” is an often muted phrase but how many people really pay attention to it?
In today’s fast paced society there never seems enough time, which often results with many of us living in parallel universes, a sort of twilight zone between Twitter, Facebook, emails and the people we are actually physically with at that moment.

I’m often astounded to see people engrossed in a personal conversation who are at the same moment looking at their last text.

Modern communication devices like the smartphone, tablet and laptop have given us all much more freedom, or have they? Not if you become a slave to your liberator they haven’t.

We have recently started a food blog which is designed to inform business diners where best to eat and where best to avoid. It’s different in that it includes, for example, where the plug sockets are so that you can plug your laptop in. Whether or not there is Wi-Fi and whether it is free. As an example, none of the cafes or restaurants in Harrods have Wi-Fi, so if you need this facility whilst shopping go somewhere else. We also include friendliness of staff to laptop users and where to sit to avoid the racket caused by the coffee machine, which is very important if you want to have a quiet conversation. Things like proximity to the bathroom might not seem important until you realise that last seat you grabbed means people hovering to get in because it is situated right next to it.

Anyway, my point is that all this information becomes important if you want to make the best use of your time and in many instances is more important to a successful business meeting than the food or drink provided.

What many of us are looking for when out and about is a suitable venue where we can catch up on emails and make calls while we wait for our next appointment to arrive. Finding a venue that fits and has everything you need will often dictate whether you use that time effectively.

I personally use my iPad all the time, including the reading of international newspapers, so anywhere without Wi-Fi is a no go for me. Even in fine food restaurants this facility matters because I might quickly catch up on world events while waiting for my guest.

Many cafe owners will complain about students using Wi-Fi all day with one cup of coffee but this is easily avoided by having limited access points. No access points in today’s business environment means less customers in my opinion.

Time, as mentioned above is money, and we spend it in much the same way. Let’s say you decide to work 40 hours a week but waste 27 of them chatting on the phone with friends or using Facebook. That means you only have 13 hours left to earn your daily crust which might leave you wondering why you can’t pay your bills.

Of course if you work for a large employer then you might get away with collecting your salary each month and still be able to tweet, email, or Facebook your friends all day but is this really fair? I doubt it. It isn’t even fair on work colleagues because they will probably have to work harder or longer to make up for the time you waste.

Clearly if too many people do this then eventually the organisation goes bust or has to start laying people off because it is being inefficient.

Entrepreneurs face an event more potent test because unless they use they’re time efficiently their businesses never get off the ground, often resulting in friends, relatives or banks not being paid back money they lent to get the business started.

Try looking at your time like you do your bank balance. At the start of the week you have a certain amount of both. Spend them with equal consideration to those finite limits.

As I approach my birthday later this month I have decided to give myself an early birthday present. It’s probably the most important thing I have ever given myself; it is the gift of more time. From now on my working week will start at 7am on a Monday and finish at 7pm on a Thursday. I reckon that will still work out at about 60 hours which coming up to 60 is enough.

Think about your own working week however old you are and make sure you leave enough time for family and friends.

I love what I do so much that it isn’t really work, but that which I consider work will be left to fend for itself after 7pm on a Thursday.

Time truly is money but it is much more than that so spend it wisely.

“Time is money” is an often muted phrase but how many people really pay attention to it?

In today’s fast paced society there never seems enough time, which often results with many of us living in parallel universes, a sort of twilight zone between Twitter, Facebook, emails and the people we are actually physically with at that moment.

Original article for the Urban Times August 2013.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *