Once upon a time…
Lucy gazed out of the bus window as she tuned into her favourite podcast for the trip home. The deep dulcet tones of Antonio’s voice washed away the working day like liquid and suds. Today he was talking about long working hours to an older man named Dave. Intrigued, Lucy wiggled around to get comfy and turned up the volume.
“Lots of people envisaged a life of lie-ins and long lunches when covid-19 lockdowns forced their offices to close and working from home became routine. But the World Health Organisation just released a global study of the loss of life associated with even longer working hours. 745,000 people died from stroke and heart disease associated with long working hours in 2016, and that was before the pandemic!”
“It’s true, the pandemic has significantly changed the way many people work,” said Dave. “Teleworking has become more common, even the norm in some industries, often blurring the boundaries between home and work.”
Antonio chimed in “The WHO has categorically stated that working 55 hours or more per week is a serious health hazard, and this wasn’t a small study either. Data from more than 2300 surveys was collected in 154 countries.”
“Let me share with your audience something that has helped me keep perspective on my own priorities.” And that’s when Dave began to explain his theory of a Thousand Marbles.
“You see, I sat down one day and did a few calculations. The average person lives for about seventy-five years. I know, some live longer and some live less, but on average, we could say that people live for about seventy-five years.”
“Until they release the secret life extension tech that Deep Underground Military Base whistleblower we had on last week was talking about,” chuckled Antonio.
“Indeed,” said Dave. “So, I multiplied 75 times 52 and I came up with 3900 which is the number of Saturdays that the average person has in their entire lifetime. Now stick with me,” said Dave, “I’m getting to the important part…”
“It took me until I was fifty-five years old to think about this in any detail, and by that time I had lived through over twenty-eight hundred Saturdays. So I got to thinking that if I lived to be seventy-five, I only had about a thousand of them left to enjoy.”
“Interesting concept, “ said Antonio.
“So, I ordered 1000 marbles and, once they were delivered, I put them inside a large, clear plastic container. Every Saturday since then, I have taken one marble out and thrown it away” explained Dave. “I found that by watching the marbles diminish, I began to focus more on the really important things in life. There is nothing like watching your time here on Earth run out to kick you in the ass and get your priorities straight.”
“Now that’s what I call losing your marbles in the right way!” joked Antonio.
“Now here’s the thing,” said Dave. “Two days ago, I took the very last marble out of the container. I figure that if I make it until next Saturday then I have been blessed with a little extra time to spend with the people who mean the most to me. Thanks for having me on the show. I hope you spend more time with your loved ones, and I hope to meet you again someday. Have a great night!”
You could have heard a pin drop when he finished. Even the show’s moderator didn’t have anything to say for a few moments. Dave had certainly presented food for thought.
Lucy had planned to go to the gym and do some more work when she arrived home. Instead, she decided to stay on the bus until it arrived at the stop on her street. She went inside and upstairs, where her husband had been diligently working from home. “C’mon honey, I’m taking you and the kids to dinner.”
“What brought this on?” he asked with a smile. “Oh, nothing special,” said Lucy ” It has just been a long time since we all did something fun together. Hey, can we stop at a department store while we’re out? I need to buy some marbles.”
“Time is more valuable than money. You can get more money, but you cannot get more time.”
– Jim Rohn
Moral of the Story:
Time moves surprisingly fast. One day, you turn around and before you know it, years have gone by. Time is the most precious resource we have at our disposal. We only have a limited amount of time to learn our lessons, make our mark and connect with those we love. No one ever said on their deathbed, ‘Geez I wish I had spent more time at the office.’ The key is in not spending time, but investing it. Time management is about life management. Time is the currency we all have a limited amount of and every day we live, we know we have used up some of our irreplaceable funds. The challenge and fundamental thing to remember is that this currency runs out and you have no idea when. So be certain that you are spending your time exactly where and with who you want to be spending it with. The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.
Don’t waste time on bad food, negative media, or people you don’t trust. Be selective with whom you invest your precious time. Don’t waste time investing in people who will not help themselves. Don’t waste time talking to people who do not listen to you (except children 😊). Don’t waste time trying to convince people of what they are not willing to hear. Wasted time can never ever be brought back. Choose to be purposeful with how you spend your moments and the years will take care of themselves. Whatever you are doing, do it completely with all of you, whether it’s for pure fun, service, or profit, be all in your life and you will squeeze every drop from your most precious asset. How you spend your time is more important than how you spend your money. Money mistakes can be corrected, but time is gone forever. The greatest gift you can give someone is your time because when you give your time, you are giving a portion of your life that you will never get back. Do not wait. The time will never be just right, yet it it still ticking away.
“Time is a valuable thing
Watch it fly by as the pendulum swings
Watch it count down to the end of the day
The clock ticks life away”
– LINKIN PARK
Affirmation: The more I value myself the more I value my time.
I am making better use of my time. Because I am in control of how I use my time, I operate with the spirit of excellence. I make good choices. I am highly organised and disciplined. I am the creator of my destiny. I am comfortable with getting uncomfortable while achieving my goals. I create results. I know that time is the most precious resource I have so I choose to focus on what I am for. The sooner I get things done, the more freedom I experience. I am bigger than my excuses. Like a muscle, the more I exercise my discipline the stronger it becomes. Taking time to rest fuels my creativity and renews my stamina. I keep my body healthy and it helps me remain productive and playful. I am always in the right place, at the right time, and everything is working out better than fine. I can relax and enjoy the task at hand because I spend time on what is important. The more I focus on the present, the more time I have at my disposal. Now is my time; It’s my time to shine!
“The trouble is, you think you have time.”