A Matter of What Matters: Saving Time
"Yesterday is a canceled check; tomorrow is a promissory note; today is the only cash you have. Spend it wisely." Anonymous
Time is not something that anyone can physically collect, store, or put in the bank, although it is certainly something that people can spend as well as save. Like money, time is a valuable resource which people like to have available when needed and would rather not have to go without. Once time is lost however, it cannot be recovered. Most societies have developed ways of being efficient with their time. For instance, many people in developing nations often spend their time doing whatever it takes simply to survive. People in industrialized nations on the other hand, seem to be running full throttle trying to continually increase their productivity. Either way, people feel that if they had more time, they could do better.
One of the most popular methods that people have devised to organize their lives and save time is through the use of time management techniques. This begs the question: what kind of time do people want to save? Many people want to save time to get more work done and get ahead, like working overtime or getting housework or homework done early. However, one of the most important types of time that people should be saving more of is leisure time, and this is often overlooked—especially in fast growing, fast paced societies. In such situations, everyday lives fly past in a blur and people end up making unconscious decisions about their free time. Ultimately, they subconsciously decide the fate of their leisure time by ignoring it. As Professor Geoffrey Godbey once stated, the most detrimental result of a deficit in downtime would be this: “Never finding out who you are.” When we deprive ourselves of leisure time we deprive ourselves of those precious opportunities of self-discovery and fulfillment. Without leisure time, the opportunity to take advantage of and appreciate the simple pleasures in life scatters, and over time people begin to lose their insight into the more profound meanings in life.
So, for the cultures of the world that do not feel the pressures of time’s passing, saving time is not as significant an issue. For societies in a constant race against the clock, on the other hand, saving time for the important things in life is a legitimate concern. Rich or poor, being able to have an ample supply of leisure time at ones beck and call—for spending time with friends and family, pursuing a hobby, playing sports or relaxing—is essential to a human’s overall state of well-being.