As a society, we lack patience. We want everything now (or even better, we want it yesterday).
I myself fall into this category.
I love same-day shipping and I love instantaneous live-chat customer service.
The thought of sending an email and having to wait 24 hours for a response, or paying for delivery which is going to take 3-5 working days, is not fun.
It’s not uncommon for me to move to another service provider, even if it costs me more money, simply for the speed of their service.
After all, time is precious. How many times throughout my blog posts have I tried to emphasize that time is your most valuable resource?
You should treasure your time and never waste it.
BUT …that doesn’t mean you should always be in for the quick wins and avoid tasks that require a lot of your time.
Passing time creates things of value
Time can act as a multiplier of value.
Take something fairly basic, a seed for example. With time it can grow into something with a higher perceived value, such as a rose.
You cannot make that rose grow any quicker than nature intended. Passing time is a requirement.
Here are some other examples of how the passing of time can create an increase in value.
- A relationship – No one-night-stand can replicate the same depth, love, strength, and trust as a couple who have been together for 10+ years.
- Investments – The power of compound interest is not something that happens overnight, but over years (even decades).
- Maturation – The aging of food (think wine, cheese, and meats) over a prolonged period of time to improve the flavor, and, of course, increase the cost.
Often, the things in life that we value the most require a significant passing of time.
The advantage of tasks that require a lot of passing time
We often avoid large tasks simple because they take too long, but there is an advantage.
The more time and energy that a task requires, the less competition you will have. This is because most other people don’t have the patience, they’re not willing to put in the time, or they will start out full of motivation but then quit when they reach the first hurdle.
This is especially true in business. If your venture has a low entry point, be prepared to face a lot of competition from other entrepreneurial rivals. However, if your venture requires numerous hurdles to jump over and a longer timeframe to get it off the ground, then you can enjoy more of the spoils because there will be fewer people sitting at the table.
Some tasks never end
Don’t be afraid of work that has no end date.
There are certain tasks that will always need doing, sometimes repeatedly, as time passes.
This can be something as small as doing the laundry; every week you will have a new pile of clothes to wash.
Or it can be something as big as fighting climate change or ending world hunger. Although we hope that these last two examples will eventually have an end date, it’s very unlikely we will see it in our lifetime, but that doesn’t mean we should be any less committed.
The tasks that require constant, ongoing, and frequent effort to complete and maintain should not be avoided if the end fruits are worth the labor.
Time will pass anyway
Although you can plan, prepare, and make the best use of your time, you cannot control its speed. Regardless of what you do the time will pass anyway, on schedule, just as clockwork (pun intended).
You can’t speed it up and you can’t slow it down. So, regardless of whether you chose to commit your time to the task or not, the time will pass anyway.
This is a key point to remember.
…and a perfect time for a quote. “The best time to plant a tree was 20-years ago. The second-best time is now.” ~ Chinese proverb
Passing time creates regret
One of our most powerful motivators is regret.
Regret is an awful emotion because you only feel regret when it’s too late to do anything about it.
If there was still time to adjust your sails and amend your course of action, then you wouldn’t feel regret because you would still have time to do something about it.
Putting something off, or deciding not to do it just because of how long the task will take, could lead to regret.
You think that 3-years working towards something is far too long and instead look for quicker ways. The next thing you know, 3-years have passed and you’re wishing you had started 3-years ago.
It’s a case of “yesterday you said tomorrow.”
Time goes quicker than you think
Time is a very deceptive resource; we all think we’ve got plenty of it, when in fact, we have very little.
Think back 5-years to a younger version of yourself. Like me, do you sit there and think, “Woah that went fast! What happened in those 5-years?” But if we look 5-years into the future, we believe that it’s ages away and we’ve got plenty of time.
Next thing you know, we’re 5-years older wondering, yet again, what just happened?!
To help me wrap this post up, I’m going to end with a quote which sums up perfectly the point that I am trying to make.
“The time will pass anyway; we might just as well put that passing time to the best possible use.” ~ Earl Nightingale.
P.S. I’ve wrote a lot of blog posts about time recently. Sorry about that. I’ll stop now ?
- The Trading of Time
- Knowing the Cost of an Opportunity
- Embrace Your (Selective) Ignorance
- Why I Visit Cemeteries & Graveyards for Personal Development