March 21, 2018

Our Problems Compound When We Forget The Importance Of Time

Congratulations! You’ve made it to this new column of mine. You are a rare breed.

I am not being vain or trying to be cheeky either. I never expect there to be thousands of views. Views or hits related to my writing are not of interest or what motivates me.

You have taken the time to stop by and read my thoughts. The key word is time. Perhaps it was due to the title of the column. Maybe we have met before, and you have an interest in my latest thinking. It might have been something entirely different.

Whatever the case, you have chosen to invest the time in yourself to read these words. Thanks for doing that, too.

Many are wasting away their time. We have become so busy in our lives and at work that we have completely forgotten how important it is to protect our time, to use it wisely. The consequences are beginning to pile up.

We try to cram more into our calendars than is humanly possible. We think multitasking will fix any situation in which we need to get two deadlines accomplished. Distracted driving injuries and accidents now outpace those that occur via impaired driving. When was the last time you saw strangers talking to one another, saying hello even, in an elevator or bus stop? Not when there is work to accomplish on a mobile phone.

Technology is merely the catalyst. What I have seen over the last few years is an adverse behaviour change of epic proportions. It has invaded our entire society.

Time has become a four-letter swear word.

Our once normal behaviour has become erratic, frenetic, stressed and frantic. In the 21st century era of “do more with less” we have displaced a time-conscious and patient behaviour for one of nonsensical, always-on busyness.

This disdain for patience complemented by an addiction to busyness is going to catch up with us.

In 2016, the World Economic Forum (WEF) released a report titled The Future of Jobs. To craft the research and get to its findings, WEF worked with leading experts from academia, international organizations, and professional service firms as well as with the heads of human resources of major organizations. One of their significant discoveries frightened me to bits.

WEF outlined a list of Top 10 skills that society needs to embrace (and improve upon) by 2020 if we are to combat what is coined the “Fourth Industrial Revolution,” the mega-trend family of innovation consisting of artificial intelligence, machine-learning, robotics, nanotechnology, 3-D printing, genetics, and biotechnology.

It’s the top 3 skills from the WEF list that frightens me the most:

  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Critical Thinking
  • Creativity

Outlining these missing skills for the Fourth Industrial Revolution is one thing. I argue that at the rate we are going we might never hit a critical mass of people who possess these skills. Future-proofing ourselves for the Fourth Industrial Revolution is akin to walking before we know how to crawl. And we’ve forgotten or ignored how to crawl!


Because of time. We have lost the importance of protecting our time, of balancing our time, of adequately using our time.

We are time bankrupt.

Indeed, it is going to cost us.

On September 11, 2018, my next book, OPEN to THINK: Slow Down, Think Creatively and Make Better Decisions, publishes. It explores the vanishing act of time.

Complex Problem Solving, Critical Thinking and Creative Thinking are vital pieces of the “Open Thinking” model and mindset that I have formulated in the book. You cannot be an Open Thinker unless you can return to the place where problem-solving, creative thinking, critical thinking, and decision-making are balanced and thoroughly used.

The manner in which to get back to such a place is to, in part, remember how valuable our time is to our thinking.

Lao Tzu once wrote, “Time is a created thing. To say ‘I don’t have time,‘ is like saying, ‘I don’t want to.” 

Do you want to win back your time? Do you want to become an Open Thinker?

More to come in OPEN to THINK. You can pre-order it now. Click on the links below to do so.




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