It is said time is the most important commodity. More important than money because money you can earn, time you can’t. However,
All times are not equal.
There are times when I feel calm, self assured, confident and sharp. Life just feels a blessing. All problems appear small and in fact solutions come to my mind for many lingering problems. If I sit down to work, I get lot more done in less time. Even while relaxing, I am watching a movie, I enjoy it more as I have no stray thoughts running in my brain. I wish I could have more such times.
There was a time when I was hospitalized. That was miserable time for me and also for those caring for me. Obviously I don’t long for those times.
TUF (Time Utilization Factor) and ET (Effective Time)
For mathematically minded, let’s assign time a TUF (Time Utilization Factor) between 0 and 10. So when I am in ‘zone’, my TUF is 9. During my hospitalization, my TUF was .1. I reserve 0 for all the time I had before I was born and all the time I will have when I am gone. The value of all that time for me is … you guessed it right… zero. This is simply because zero times any number, however large, is still zero. During most of the day, my TUF ranges between 3 and 7.
By now it should be clear that it is not Time but Time with high TUF, that is important. It can also be called ET or effective time. Again for mathematically minded, we can say
ET (EffectiveTime) = ‘Available Time’ * TUF (Time Utilization Factor)
If I spend two hour in TUF 9, the importance of that time to me is 2*9 = 18 or the ET is 18. If I have 5 hours but am in bad mood and frustrated on something meaningless (TUF=2), the ET is 5*2 or just 10.
Irrespective of value of TUF, time can be well utilized or wasted
TUF is NOT about using time for something useful. It is about your effectiveness to enjoy, cherish or use the time you currently have for any of the million things in your list.
For example, when I am in TUF 9, I can be really productive, but whether I chose to use that time for something useful or just waste it, does not change the TUF for that period of time. If I waste it, I might feel miserable later, meaning my TUF later could be real low, say 2. To clarify further, if you have $100 to spend, you could buy something useful with it or just waste it in a bar but that does not change the fact that you had $100 which you spend.
(Some people might object to the use of word ‘waste’ for going to bar, but anyway, I hope they also would get the point, unless off course they read this article shortly after coming out of the bar :)).
Can time be invested?
If you have $100, you can invest it. By that you forgo its use for present with the hope of getting more than $100 in future. On the same token time investment would be something which gives you back more time or more ET to be precise, in future.
Time can’t be invested but ET (Effective Time) CAN be.
This will be the topic of my upcoming blog.