Time: Just How Much Is It Worth?

Old-fashioned alarm clock on on unfinished wood

As a fourth year student in the Colangelo College of Business, I am about to graduate with a Bachelor of Science and roughly three years of work experience. While I would like to say that I have the practical knowledge to at once be an expert in my field, this would be a gross overestimation. However, I am prepared to start my career using the crucial, fundamental knowledge and theory I have gained in subjects such as management, human resources, accounting, economics, finance, marketing, public relations, and the list goes on. Perhaps the most important skill I have learned in my studies is how to manage and effectively use one of man’s most precious resources: time.

Time as a Resource

As I learned in my first semester at GCU, everything in this world is finite, meaning it has a limited supply and duration. This fact serves as the basis for all business theory, including supply and demand, scarcity, opportunity cost, and value attribution. Thus, the time we have as humans follows the same business laws as any other resource from currency to agriculture. The more we have, the less value we attribute to it. For a child holding his mother’s hand, one day is far less treasured than a terminal patient holding the hand of their spouse. Difficult decisions soon arise as we determine what holds more value: one more hour here or one hour there?

This trade-off is explained by the forces of opportunity cost. Simply put, time spent in one place cannot be used in another. For these reasons, the value we attribute to our time exists equally as a science governed by logic as it does an art ruled by personal creativity.

How Do You Spend Your Time?

With these forces in mind, how do you spend your time? On a day-to-day basis, do you keep an account of where your minutes go? Whether you are the CEO of a Fortune 500 company or a student learning the location of minute hand, you are in the business of time. You trade your time for money, rewards, happiness, relaxation, relationships, honor, health, etc. So, whether we realize it or not, each decision we make is really an investment of our time. Naturally, we invest in things that we believe will have a desired payout or trade-off.

Insider Trading Tips

Having been in the business of time for only 21 years, to say that I have the all the answers would again be a gross over-exaggeration. However, when considering all the experience and knowledge that has been passed down to me through generations of fellow time-traders in the form of books, stories, and observations, perhaps my thoughts on the subject are more credible than at first they appear.

In order to spend and invest your time to the fullest, first determine what has the most value in this world, both present and future value; then, invest everything in your life into this one thing. Now I know that wiser men have said again and again to diversify your assets in order to reduce risk. Yet in this case, when it comes to spending your life, you cannot afford to waste time in investments that hold no ultimate value. Because of opportunity cost, there is a trade-off.

So figure out what holds the most value in this world and let that guide you when deciding how to invest the time that you have. As you can conclude, this is a risky investment, so I highly stress the importance of the first step: determine what has the most value in this world – and believe me, this is worth the time – then, go after it!

Grand Canyon University is a private, Christian university in the heart of Phoenix. To learn more about how GCU prepares its students to find their purpose in its business programs, visit our website or use the Request More Information button on this page.

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