What if drivers thought ahead enough not to get stuck in gridlock? What if people got out their change ahead of the toll booth while idly waiting in line? What if people respected lines (read: queues, my English friends)? What if Doctors thought that your time was important, too? What if people’s watches were all set to the right time? What if all people (and companies) learned to send you only relevant emails?
Time in a digital world
Time has this uncanny habit of being central to everything. Unlike some resources, it neither shrinks nor expands, it just keeps running. It is an incompressible and unexpandable 24 hours every day. The digital world we are living in forces us to look at the digital clock on our computer screen on a regular basis. Time has not changed; but, it sure feels like it is going faster, especially if you work in digital marketing.
In a business context, the life of a company may extend many generations, although as any salesperson will tell you, the clock is reset at the beginning of every month or otherwise at the beginning of each year. When looked at from the angle of a person, our time is life long, full stop.
How long a person lives is dependent on mostly biological factors. For a company, the ebbs and flow of business and the inexorable capitalistic pressures generally lead to a cycle that, one day, ends in doom. [The best secret to longevity is probably being privately held.]
The unexpected comes all the time
For all of us, however, we are living and working one day at a time. And in that day, we start off with a full set of hours; and, yet, at day’s end, we often feel exasperated and/or exhausted. Things don’t get done, unexpected events crop up and people run late — especially bosses.
What if people knew how to manage time? What if we learned at school that, in order to arrive on time and to hit deadlines successfully, you had to anticipate the unexpected, and plan to arrive earlier than announced. If we all learned to be on time, I am convinced that World, Inc., would rise to an amazing new level of productivity. Better yet, a lot of happier people.
On Time: A “new” business condition
The thing about arriving late is that you take down everyone with you to the lowest common denominator — at least the latest time. For companies wishing to move to distance learning, distributed working conditions, learning how to be on time is a sine qua non condition. For the rest, it would bring about incomparable welfare, productivity and pleasure. Because, since on a personal level, our own time is important (and finite) to us, it is supremely important how we spend our time.
So, what if we all planned to be 15 minutes early to our appointments? At least then there’s a chance we all will be there on time. And, if we get there early, at least we will have the spare time to call home and say we’ll be there on time.