The art of passing time

Every day, most of us are passing time.

We often pass time without thinking too deeply about how.

We prefer pursuits with zero or minimum friction to distract ourselves away from valuable but difficult things.

Passing time by low friction pursuits is almost always easier in the moment, but often the very best outcomes require some friction. Having the difficult conversation. Delaying gratification. Going against the prevailing consensus at a team meeting.

The multi-billion-pound/dollar/euro entertainment industry evolved to serve our desires to pass time with low friction, gentle distraction.

When we realise, though, that low friction choices might be preventing us from the important and valuable outcomes, the best first step is to think about the choices we’re making with the personal resources at our disposal.

There are three personal resources that we all have: energy, money and time.

Energy, money and time are the resources we possess to approach the tasks and projects and challenges of every day. Everything we do requires one of these. Some will need all three.

If we treat our minds and our bodies well, we can replenish energy.

If we make the right decisions about money—about what we exchange for it, about how we manage it—we can create more money.

Of the everyday personal resources we have, time is the only one we can’t replenish. When today, Thursday, November 8th, 2018 is gone, it’s gone forever.

Time and the hour runs through the roughest day. It runs through the best too.

Time passes, with or without our thinking or decisions.

While time is passing—what we choose to do, how we choose to be, who we choose to be with—that’s up to us.


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