How To Manage Your Time 2024 | Stoicism

If you are looking for how to manage your time. You are in the right place. Hey everyone, and welcome to Knowledge World. Today, we will learn how to manage your time better.

In life, time is your most valuable resource. The property can be replaced. Money can be earned. But the seconds, minutes, and hours you spend each day are gone forever. If time is irreplaceable, shouldn’t we do everything we can to protect and conserve each precious moment? Shouldn’t we defend our time as loyally as we defend our money and possessions?

Time Mgmt Illustration pdf

Yet many people waste their time without a second thought. Think of the hours you spend on mindless time-wasters, and the days, months, and even years you’ve wasted doing things you want to do. Each day, you spend 8 hours sleeping and another 8-9 hours working. You spend more time doing chores, running errands, and fulfilling social obligations.

All said and done, you only have a handful of hours, if any, to spend on yourself. But you’re likely to waste those hours too, leaving you with no time for the goals, dreams, and passion that truly make you happy. You may blame yourself for wasting or mismanaging your time, but the problem isn’t you. It’s the way we, as people and as a society, prioritize our time and energy.

We dedicate an alarmingly low percentage of our time to the things that matter to us most. Like most people, you simply have too many responsibilities to make your happiness a priority. When there are so many other things and people that need your attention, who has time to waste on hobbies or passions that may not amount to anything?

How can you justify spending a whole day on your passions when you feel like you’re falling behind in your career, neglecting household chores, or ignoring friends who want to spend time with you? Herein lies the core of today’s article. When discussing time management, most people focus on the “what” a list of concrete hacks and habits you can use to save yourself time.


But we’re going to focus on something much more important. Before thinking about what you do or how much time you save, you have to figure out why your time matters. Put a pin in those life-changing routines and time-saving techniques, because today we’re going to dissect why saving time is truly valuable for you. Otherwise, it doesn’t matter how many routines and techniques you try. If you don’t know why your time is valuable, you’ll end up wasting all the time you save.

Let’s say, for example, that you are one of many people in the world who feels like your time is not yours. You’re constantly overwhelmed by external responsibilities and desperately searching for some relief. Naturally, the idea of time management catches your eye. Who wouldn’t want to save hours every day? You learn the latest time management tactics and begin changing your schedule.

Lo and behold, you discover an hour of free time every day that you never knew you had. The problem is you don’t know how to spend it. You worked hard to create and save time only to squander the time you worked so hard to find. Just because you’re saving time or rearranging your schedule, doesn’t necessarily mean you are using your time wisely.

But what does it actually mean to use your time wisely? How do you gauge whether an hour is wasted or well-spent? To answer this question, we turn to one of the most influential thinkers from Ancient Greece: a philosopher by the name of Socrates

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In the fifth century BCE, Socrates was the first of a triad of great thinkers who essentially fathered Western philosophy. Socrates famously never wrote anything down, which makes him a highly enigmatic figure, but luckily we’ve been able to decipher many of his teachings from the early writings of his students.

First and foremost, we know that Socrates questioned everything. He tirelessly pursued the truth with difficult and incisive questions that dissected popular conceptions of moral duty, human nature, and the virtues of living. For Socrates, wisdom is the greatest virtue. Without wisdom, other virtuous qualities, like beauty, health, and strength, are meaningless and may potentially harm others or yourself. 

This concept is connected to another Socratic idea, which is fundamental to his understanding of moral duty and human nature. Socrates argues that people are unable and unwilling to intentionally make mistakes. In other words, if you know the right thing to do, you will do the right thing. Even if you end up doing the wrong thing, you do it because, for some reason, you believe it is right, good, or reasonable.

Socrates Timeline

Thus, the only difference between the right thing and the wrong thing is your lack of wisdom, which Socrates calls “ignorance.” Without wisdom, we are likely to make poor decisions, and, in the context of time management, waste our precious time. With each passing moment, we think we are making good decisions. We assume we are doing what we are supposed to do.

After all, just as Socrates said, we never do the wrong things on purpose; yet we continue to waste and misuse our time, simply because we lack the knowledge to do anything different. We do not know a better way to spend our time or what we should be doing instead, so our precious time goes to waste. If you look closely at your life, and the lives of others, it’s easy to find examples of these wasteful decisions.

For example, many people structure their entire lives around unsatisfying jobs or relationships for the sake of other people. In your mind, these moments seem to be used wisely because you are doing something your family, friends, or community thinks is right or valuable. However, Socrates argues that moral rightness stems, not from your external world, but from your internal compass.

This comes from a famous story about a conversation between Socrates and a confident man named Euthyphro, in which they discuss the nature of moral duty, also known as piety. Socrates challenges Euthyphro to provide a general definition of what piety means, to which the man responds that piety, like many virtues in Ancient Greece, is defined by the Gods.

In other words, something is only pious if it meets the standards of the Gods. Socrates immediately challenges this idea with a complicated question: “Is something pious because it is loved by the gods, or do the gods love pious things because they are pious?” This profound distinction is very important. Socrates is suggesting, in this case, that moral rightness can take two different shapes.

Either moral rightness is established by observing the affections of the gods and therefore means nothing or moral rightness is established independently, suggesting that we have our own sense of value and good. In the context of our lives, this story underscores our ability to make decisions, not because they seem to please other people, but because we are independently capable of doing what is right for ourselves. If you want to spend your time wisely, you should invest as much of your time into things that are truly meaningful to you. 

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Of course, knowledge is a critical piece of this puzzle. If we try to do the right things, yet continue to do the wrong things, it is because we do not have enough knowledge to know what the right things are. In this case, acquiring knowledge means understanding more about who you are. Socrates argues that happiness should be the fundamental motivator for our desires. If we are truly doing good, we are doing what makes us happy.

Thus, gaining wisdom, in the context of your life, means learning what makes you happy. As long as you are pursuing happiness, then your time is always well spent. Let’s bring this conversation down to Earth. If using your time wisely means exploring what makes you happy, then what should you actually do to better manage your time?

Again, we can draw some wisdom from Socrates. Just as he questioned everything, we can change our relationship with our time, not by incorporating new, magical routines, but by asking questions that you may never have asked yourself before. Start by questioning your habits and behaviors. The goal here is to unmask the illusions you maintain about the reality in which you live. 

In other words, take a step back and ask yourself whether the things you’re doing right now actually make you happy or if you’re doing them to please others. Next, ask yourself what you would rather be doing instead. This can be a difficult task for many people because they’ve never tried to say, in concrete terms, what their happiness looks like. Finding sources of happiness in your life can require some trial and error.

You might think one idea is meaningful to you now, then discover later that it has lost its luster. But that’s okay. Throughout this process, you will make mistakes and discover wrong answers. These failures are not only natural but essential to your growth as a person. In Socratic terms, you’re becoming aware of your ignorance, and that, to Socrates, is the pinnacle of wisdom. 

When you’ve found things that genuinely make you happy, the challenge then is shifting your priorities. Instead of making time for everything except your happiness, let your happiness lead the way, while your other responsibilities fill in the gaps. This means choosing internal passions over external validation. It means prioritizing your dreams and aspirations over the expectations of your community.

Most of all, it means organizing your time so that what you do reflects why you do it. Ultimately, every moment of your time is precious. Every day you spend is a day you’ll never get back. Why invest such a valuable resource into anything less than your own happiness? It may take time to figure out exactly what happiness means to you, but according to Socrates, so long as you are pursuing happiness, you are using your time wisely.

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