Time - the elusive commodity in contemporary society
Time is real but cannot be purchased. A valuable resource that cannot be acquired. Accessible to all but not necessarily appreciated by everyone. A rare consignment often cherished after it is wasted. Time impacts us every moment and yet we are often unaware of its passing. It is an equal opportunity tender but not treated with deference. Every moment is precious, often that realization comes the instance it is lost. Time can be both liberating and yet a shackle with a vice like grip. In a word Time is tantalizing, intangible and precocious – full of contradictions. Let us unpack why it is the most precious product of modern times.
Literally everything is bound by Time. Every living, breathing entity in the Universe is affected by Time. It is hard to escape the metrics of time and all things touched by its agency. Both material and intellectual possessions are affected by Time. So many of us are often caught in the web of responding automatically to the question, “How are you?” with, “Busy”! Effortlessly, becoming the Mantra of the times we live in. Does this mean we have lost our sense of priority, taken on way too much, feel guilty about enjoying leisure activities or a combination of all this and more?
The Pandemic has increased our rate of burnout, stagnation and disruption. As we slowly emerge from its throes we find ourselves in a Brave New World with few definitions and parameters to guide us forward. The lines between work and home remain unclear with mixed messages. The economy is stumbling worldwide, with global shortages, employment challenges so everyone is faced with a sense of Time Pressure and an overwhelming sense of perpetual busyness and yet never catching up.
Tech tools were meant to give us back more precious hours and minutes. Instead it has created over connectivity and techno stress. The opposite has become true as we remain tied to our devices for longer hours, blurring the lines between leisure and work, with Time lost in the process. Being productive is seen as a badge of honor in society, but our Brain is overloaded with tasks, schedules and to-do lists while valuable time is lost.
Social Media is another time gobbler, having invaded every aspect of our lives. Our FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) has us addicted to our phones and screens, trying to keep up with the latest trends, posts, videos, fashions and what have you, even as the minutes tick by. Isn’t it time we all took a few minutes to pause, take a deep breath and reminded ourselves that the only Time we have is the Present! Let’s slow down the scramble, be more mindful of what’s going on right now and start living in the present which will benefit both our mental and physical health. I find myself advocating unitasking, as I unfetter myself and master the art of getting more done with less distraction. Over connectivity is a slippery slope to disaster.
Shakespeare wrote in “Macbeth”, “Let every man be master of his time”. Good time management allows us the luxury of enjoying our life, invest in relationships that are dear to us, in the skills that enhance our life, consuming the precious resource to the best of our ability. Digital distress is real and so is perspective of remembering that Time impacts happiness. Time is a teacher and a healer, an enhancement tool. We are given opportunities and experiences as a gift from Time, and even though we cannot go back in Time, it allows us to grow and learn from the past and venture into the Future, for incredible gifts downstream.
I look forward to hearing from all of you, as to how you view Time - is it an ally or a task master? How can we direct our energies to craft a better Life for ourselves and those close to us? Share your stories to generate a resource pool that each of us can draw from. I eagerly await your contributions as we journey on this path together.
We are stronger together