Sean Cheng

Time As Commodity

July 21, 2021

Time is the ultimate commodity.

It’s limited and can never be regained. This is why repeatedly being late or flaking on people last minute is rude. You’re saying, my time is more important than yours.

“All I have in this world is time and you are wasting my time” - legendary Intel CEO Andy Grove to an employee late to a meeting.

To know who or what someone cares about, all you have to do is ask where they spend most of their time. Nowhere is this more important than your relationships. There’s a reason quality time is one of the love languages.

Small talk builds relationships because it says “I care more about you than being productive” - Dave Perell

We dread small talk when we meet new people, but it’s a necessary step to get to know someone. When we invest time into people, we’re demonstrating that out of all the work, fun, and other distractions in this world, we’re willing to put it all aside to be with them.

It applies to your hobbies and other interests as well. When you say “I don’t have time for something,” what you’re really saying is “This isn’t my highest priority right now.”

As my old violin teacher would say when I complained about not having enough time to practice— make time.

I did have enough time to practice violin (I was in middle school, I had too much time), but I just didn’t care enough to prioritize it. There’s nothing wrong with not prioritizing things. But don’t lie to yourself and blame it on time constraints.

Procrastination is a unique time waster. Rather than someone else not respecting your time, procrastination is when you don’t respect your time. When you procrastinate, you’re telling your subconscious you don’t care enough about yourself to do what’s best in the long run. The current distraction has become more important to you than your long-term goals and happiness. This realization should put an end to any procrastination you’re experiencing.

Don’t let anyone (yourself included) waste your time. Be intentional with it because when you value your time, you value yourself. Remember you can’t kill time. Time kills you.

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