Time your time and bill it


Who said it better? Is it when William Penn said “Time is what we want most, but what we use worst” or when Seneca said “It’s not that we have little time, but more that we waste a good deal of it”? As postulated by evolution theorist Charles Darwin, “a man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.”

It does not matter you think you have time or not; whether it is somebody else’s time or not; whether it is a short while or a long while; time is a precious resource and should not be wasted.

We usually waste time by living other people’s expectations or agendas instead of following our passions and paths and working on our goals. We also waste time by indulging in the busyness frenzy; the modern trend of being hyper-active without really achieving much of value or being efficient.


We also waste time by allowing way too many distractions, especially in the digital era, that bombard us with irrelevant information most of the day and non-stop notifications on our devices.

Being vigilant with our time will allow us to spend it efficiently. This means we will see improvement it a lot of areas when time is spent well. We will see improvement in service delivery both in the public and the private sector.

We will see improvement is learning and growth of both the young and adult generations. We will see improvement in the output of our jobs or our businesses. We will see improvement in family life as more time is invested in it.


Some people understand or interpret not wasting time as never resting, enjoying life or unwinding. However, nothing can be further from the truth; resting, enjoying life and unwinding are part of spending time well because everyone needs time to do these things to remain efficient and give meaning to life.

Learning to say ‘no’ to what does not serve you is part of managing time well. We usually think we progress in life by saying ‘yes’ more when in essence we progress when we master the art of saying ‘no’.

I like that we actually refer to usage of time as ‘spending’ time, just like we say ‘spending’ money. What these two have in common is that when you spend something, it actually gets depleted.

Indeed money and time run out and usually very quickly if not managed well. Somebody actually said time is money. This is to say time is valuable and finite (as ironic as that might sound considering we exist in a perpetual time spectrum).

It is not enough to use time well (read don’t waste time); it is even more critical to time (read attach value) your time and put a price on it. When we decide to time our time and money it, the choices we make in life change and there is less conflict when deciding what to spend time on. Even our reactions to what is happening around us change. And since time is money, where we spend our money and what we spend it on also changes.

We all literally have the same 24 hours in a day; what we achieve with that 24 hours depends on our discernment and the relationship we decide to build with time. I am yet to hear of a success story that was based on someone wasting time.

All success stories are built around how time was spent. Someone was innovative with their time; someone maximised efficient usage of time; someone linked every second of their time to a Kwacha or the dollar, someone was resourceful with their time, and again, the list is endless.

Your success in life depends greatly on managing your time. Time your time and bill it.

I rest my case.

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