The wise understand than time, not money, is the most valuable resource on earth.
An abundance of time is something only the young possess. This is the primary reason why the quote: “Youth is wasted on your young” became famous. The young usually have an abundance of time, but they often lack the wisdom to use it wisely.
Working hard when you could be working smart is a good way to waste valuable time and energy. It is extremely inefficient to put more time, money or energy into achieving a goal than it actually requires. Yet, the many of people do this every day because they don’t know any better.
Hard workers can lack foresight and fail to see the big picture. One example is the person who lives one mile away from their job and chooses to walk to work every day. It takes the average person about 30 minutes to walk a mile. Thus, this translates to an average of one hour spent walking to and from work every day.
When a friend of this person suggests purchasing a bicycle to get to work, the person might say they don’t want to “spend the money” to buy a bicycle. They might think: Why spend several hundred dollars on a bicycle I don’t need when I could use that money for something fun?
On average, it takes about 11 minutes to travel one mile on a bicycle. This means turning a one-hour daily commute into a 22-minute daily commute. Over the course of one week that saves you over three hours of travel time. You would be commuting just under two hours per week instead of approximately five hours per week. This adds up even more if you factor in months and years.
Think about how much time is saved long-term from just purchasing a bicycle in this situation. This time can be used for more rest, hobbies, relationships, etc. Yet, the time is flushed away to save a few hundred dollars in the short term.
The same analogy could be applied to the person who wants to fix their car themselves instead of taking it to a mechanic. While the mechanic is more expensive, they will likely fix the car within a few hours or less. The person choosing to fix their own car has to order parts, do research and possibly put in days of labor to get the same result. They may have saved hundreds of dollars, but they also lost hours of time. Time they can never get back. Time they could have actually used to make more money.
This is the paradox of the hard worker. They are often not willing to trade money for time because they see money as more valuable. However, money can always be replaced while time can never be replaced. Once it passes, it is gone forever.
The wise person prioritizes efficiency above all things. This is why automation has been on the rise since the Industrial Revolution and shows no signs of stopping. This is also why healthy living has been consistently gaining popularity. It is all about efficiency and saving time.
Humanity wants to squeeze as much pleasure out of life as possible. This requires finding ways to make labor as fast and efficient as possible. Businesses want to grow as fast as possible. People want to lose weight as fast as possible. Restaurants want to serve their food as fast as possible.
Working smart is all about prioritizing time above all other things. The wise person sees a task and asks themselves: “How can I get the same outcome with the bare minimum amount of time and effort?” It is a wise question to ask, as lazy as it may sound.
In many ways, this is the million-dollar question because those who find good answers often become rich. Every invention in human history boils down to saving time and making life more efficient. Every product or service offered by a business has the same purpose.
Anyone who wants to get rich only needs to figure out a way to make other people’s lives easier. This is also the secret to making friends and attracting the opposite sex.
Everyone wants their life to be easier. The easiest way to make your life easier is to value your time. When you value your time, you want to spend it wisely. This leads you down the path of wisdom and creativity. It forces you to seek more answers and deeper understanding of your situation. Only when you have a deep understanding of the world around you, can you really make the wisest decisions. The kind of decisions that allow you to work smart rather than hard.