May 11, 2017

Of Time

1000 years ago, if you wanted to acquire someone else’s resources, you’d rob them at night or on their way home from bar of their belongings – coins and jewelry. We like to think of ourselves as a more advanced species now that highway robbery is no longer a common occurrence in civilized countries, however, the basic human nature has not changed.

In the digital knowledge economy, what is of value is our time. The basis of the knowledge economy rests on the idea that we can take something someone else knows, mull it over in our head and produce something someone else can use. The value of our time depends on our accumulated amount of knowledge as well as those who’s time we control or have access to. The more people’s time we control, the more we can achieve because we control more knowledge and resources.

As you start out in your career, your time is not very valuable so there is very little demand for it – you get paid less and few people make demands on your time. The higher up in the society you climb and the more knowledgeable you become, the more demand there will be for your time.  At first this can be flattering, as more and more people seek out your wisdom, but very soon this becomes a huge problem as you completely lose control over your own time as it is being consumed by everyone else.

1000 years ago, we focused on building better locks, better hidden pockets, carry weapons and have armed guards. Now, we need similar set of tools to defend our most valuable resource – secretaries (a modern-day equivalent of an armed guard); calendar meetings booked with ourselves only; strictly defined job descriptions that we can point to and say, “not my job”.

If you let your time to become a cheap commodity that everyone can use, it will certainly become so.

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