Man, we’ve seriously been having a blast these past few weeks. Brandon has really started pushing out some amazing new designs, Jordan is trying to become an Instagram celebrity and I’m flying all over trying to make things happen. It’s made me think a lot about how I manage my time, the most valuable commodity I have. This quote says it perfectly:
“The common man is not concerned about the passage of time, the man of talent is driven by it.” -Shoppenhauer
It’s interesting, because when we’re young, all we want is to be older. Old is cool; old is able to drive and stay up late. When we turn 16 we only think about how we want to be 18 so we can be done with school. At 18 we want to be 21 because that’s apparently when you become a grown up. If you’re like most people, you probably are spending the majority of that time working like crazy as well, trying to save up for down payment on a new car, paying for your expensive (“but totally worth it, the location is legit bro!”) apartment, and other random stuff like car stereos, sweet TVs, sound systems, etc. (Sorry, I’m not sure what girls save up for. Dresses and shoes?)
I’ve been there. When I was 14, I worked every second I could at Burger King so I could save up for my first car. I wanted a Camaro so freaking bad and my parents refused to help, fueling my drive even more. I’d work every second I could there, then mow lawns, rake leaves and even shovel snow in that unfortunate season known as winter in Michigan.
Now let me be the first to say that drive is something that will get you further than you will ever know. If you can learn to mix drive with determination and execution, you’ll be successful; no question about it. My concern though is how we think about time. Want to know how you value yours? Look at your paycheck! If you’re on hourly, it’s pretty easy to see. Salary folks can take that amount and divide it by the REAL number of hours you worked that week, not the standard 40 as we all know employers want you to stay late to justify that ‘crazy’ cash you’re making.
My first realization on the value of my time happened when I was 20. I had to get up at 3 in the morning to go load the brown delivery trucks at UPS. I was one of the lucky ones that was on- call, meaning I only came in if they were short handed. This lead to a ridiculous sleep schedule of which I’d go to bed early, wake up at 3am either way, then go back to sleep for a few hours if I didn’t get called in. I still remember one night, waking up under my cozy down comforter while it snowed outside. My room had horrible insulation and I knew that the second I got up I’d be freezing. Funny how beds get so much more comfortable right before you have to get up, isn’t it!? As I laid in bed waiting for my phone to ring, I thought about it. After taxes I was going to make about $30 for getting out of my warm bed and working for 4 hours. It was at that point that I realized that I would rather pay $30 to stay in bed. I didn’t care about the money, I just wanted to do what I felt like doing.
This realization has been with me ever since, and it’s something I think about all the time, especially when I’m at work. It always bothered me to know that my time was worth whatever my employer felt was legit. It sort of feels like someone is putting a value on you as a human. Last time I checked I feel like my life is worht a bazillion dollars, so breaking that down by hour always left me very far from enthused.
So we’ve established that time is valuable because you trade it for money, but what else? Well, the most obvious is going to be that time is very finite; you can not earn/buy more. Even the richest men on earth still run out of time, that’s a fact of life. My belief is that at the point where you are about to die, you never look back on how your money was spent, you look back at what you did; how you really used your time.
If you’re from the midwest, this analogy will make sense for you very well. Think about the first time you experienced a snow day. The feeling of waking up, eagerly listening to the radio for them to list off your school as one that was canceled. The second your school was called, you felt a rush because you knew that for that one day, you had complete freedom. Your time was your own, and you could do with it whatever you wanted. As an adult, I try to carry that exact same mindset into every single day of my life. I wake up knowing that this day is mine and I’m going to make every minute of it count.
Hope that helps.