This sundial is on a church tower in Suffolk, in England. The inscription says “Time Passeth Away Like a Shadow” – a reminder to spend our time well, before it, and we, fade out. Here we are in May, and I can’t figure out where April went, I’ve spoken to a lot of people recently in the same boat. Research shows that time appears to pass more quickly when we pack more experiences into it. That’s why holidays go quickly, but when you look back, they seem to have lasted a long time. The theory is that, in Holidayland, we’re not only packing a lot in, but most of it’s new to us, and that makes it more memorable. What would it be like if our whole life was as memorable? What would you have to do to make your time well spent? Not just for today, or next week, but for the rest of your life.
Time management doesn’t really cover these wider horizons and longer time scales, that’s one of the big differences in what we do, why we talk about Time Intelligence, and look at Motivation as one of the key components of Time Well Spent.
Humans need to have meaning and purpose in what we do, at work,and at home, alone and with other people. It’s easy for this sense of purpose to get lost in the stress and strains of everyday life. Especially at work. Whole organisations forget the reason for their existence, and get consumed with internal power plays, ego-trips and the all consuming demands of the present. The UK Cooperative Group is probably the most egregious example of this in my country at the moment. The Coop has been going for 170 years, but losing sight of its purpose has led to a £1.5bn gap in finances. Corporate history is littered with other such tales of hubris and mismanagement – Enron, Tyco, every bank in the Northern hemisphere. The people who ran them all forgot what their real purpose was.
So what’s your purpose? And how much time have you got to fulfil it?