Time as a currency

Time is a currency. An equally distributed currency. We all have 24 units of it in a day. 1440 if you like to measure time in minutes. It doesn’t matter how privileged you are, each day, you have the same amount of time as everyone else. It doesn’t matter if you have lots of money to spend in a day and want more time to spend it, you are given exactly the same amount of time. Advantage that you have as a rich person, is that you can pay other people to do things you don’t enjoy doing, and focus on doing things that you enjoy doing. More like trading some of your money for more time. That way you can accomplish multiple things in parallel.

Poor people don’t have such a luxury. They cannot pay someone to do laundry for them, so that they can focus on doing things that they enjoy doing. They cannot afford to pay someone to cook for them, while they watch soapies on TV. They have to do it for themselves. That’s after working for someone to afford basic needs like shelter, food and clean water. Poor in this context means people who cannot pay someone to do household chores for them.

Research [1] conducted by researchers from British Columbia and Harvard Universities, found that people who trade money for time by outsourcing household chores like cleaning and cooking, live happier lives. So money does buy time after all. So the old adage that time cannot be bought is no longer applicable. Just like a a computer processor with multiple cores can do more things in paralle, those who can afford can also do things in parallel. As someone who is poor, you cannot trade money for time because you have little of it. You actually trade some of your time each working day for money. Whatever you are left with, you have to cook and clean your house using it. On top of that, you still need to find time to do the things that you enjoy doing.

Which brings us to the question, how do I maximise the time that I have on my hands? You have to be selfish with your time. You must stop donating your time to people who aren’t paying you money in return. Only donate your time when you have more of it in your hands. Don’t put off doing your own things in order to do things for other people who won’t pay you. You have same amount of hours in a day. Stop honouring every invitation. Stop watching too much TV. You don’t need to watch all soapies playing on all TV channels each day. Only rich people have that luxury. Ironically, it is the same rich people who avoid watching too much TV. The very same people who have more time in their hands because they bought more time from poorer people by outsourcing their chores to them.

That extra time can be exchanged for money that you are lacking. When you have lots of time in your hands and less money, shouldn’t you be trading it for money instead of dishing it out for free? I have a strict policy of not helping anyone during weekdays. I reserve weekdays for myself. I can only donate some of my weekday’s time to someone else in an extreme case. If you are still trading your time for money, you need to start viewing time as an exchange medium. You sell it to people who give you money in return. Fellow poor people like you must simply find a way to maximise their time and stop using you as their personal slave.

[1] Ashley V. Whillans, Elizabeth W. Dunn, Paul Smeets, Rene Bekkers, and Michael I. Norton. Buying time promotes happiness. PNAS, 2017 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1706541114

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