One of the phrases that anger me the most is the adage “time is money.” There are just so many things wrong with such an attitude! First, money is more important than time with such a view. What is time? Time is the relentless march toward death. Now, there are a lot of philosophical and scientific explanations of time, but really the only definition that matters to us is our own painfully limited allotment of days to live. Money is more important than living? I think not.
Granted, we have to work to live. However, time isn’t money by any means. No one can pay us what a second of our lives are really worth. The average life expectancy for the world is currently around 67.2 years (1). That works out to only 24, 528 days to live: 588,672 hours to live. Now if you work 40 hours a week for say 50 years: 104, 000 hours. So work takes up a fifth of our lives . The numbers are rather sobering. Now take your age and adjust for how much life on average you have left. 24, 528 -( AGE x 365). This isn’t factoring in sleep either.
Is money really that important?
The adage is also based on a misconception. People work better when they don’t work consistently for hours. The human mind evolved to rapidly shift based upon constantly changing situations encountered while hunting or gathering food. The modern idea of working consistently for hours with only a lunch and a few breaks simply isn’t effective. The best work is done while in play, or ‘wasting’ time. The least productive work is done during normal business hours. Money is efficiency. If an employee finishes their work efficiently and well,they should be paid the same and sent home. Instead of squeezing every minute of the work hour from someone, people should be rewarded for their efficiency and effectiveness. Or at the least, employers need to allow for play time to increase productivity. A balance of work and slacking off allows people to remain rested and continually perform their work well.
Finally, time is money is disrespectful. It treats people as a machine instead of people with people tendencies. Certainly with machines time is money. Any business that exists by that motto needs to be fully mechanized to actually profit from the adage.
I firmly believe any business that causes suffering to people and the environment in the shallow pursuit of maximized profit should have all their assets confiscated and put out of business. This is the best way to regulate businesses. Any type of suffering intentionally or not caused by poor practices should set up the business in question for investigation. If suffering is present, and the business lives by time is money, then heavily fine them and force a change. If the business continues to create suffering instead of relieve it, shut them down. Businesses exist to serve people and the planet; profit is their reward for that service. Fail to serve well and seek only to maximize profit and they should lose their business.
Time, life, is far more valuable than any currency. Spend it well; ease the suffering of everyone you meet.