Worthy of the Time of Your Life

I saw a TV commercial yesterday for a new movie coming out in a few weeks, called In Time, where time is the currency. It looks like everyone has a certain bank account of time that they can spend. So for example, a cup of coffee costs you four minutes of life. I’m sure there’s more to this action movie than that, but the commercial, on top of all the articles about and tributes to Steve Jobs I’ve read this week, got me thinking.

What if you measured the value of everything you did against how much of your life it would take? Would you make different decisions or decide differently? Think about evaluating a new project not by how much money you’ll make from it, but by how many hours of your life you’ll be giving up for it.

What if instead of assuming you have “forever,” you came from a place where you worked on a shorter time frame that makes weighing every decision on the time factor real, let’s say one year. So you have one year to spend – 8760 hours – 525,600 minutes. Would you use your time more wisely? Spend it more on what really matters to you and what brings you enjoyment?

Is trolling the aisles and racks of Ross for a bargain a good trade of your time for the savings? It might be if you enjoy the hunt. Is Facebook worthy of the five or ten hours of your life you give it each week? Is working an extra two hours tonight more fun than playing with your child? Constantly ask yourself if what you’re about to do is worthy of your life.

“For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something…” ~ Steve Jobs

People who’ve been diagnosed with life threatening diseases go through this process of evaluation, but you don’t have to have a diagnosis to put it to work. Maybe a year is even too long a time frame. Start with a month, or even a week. Evaluate from this new perspective and see what happens. See how your choices change. It’s your life. How will you spend the currency?

3 Responses to “Worthy of the Time of Your Life”

  1. Sandy Fowler Says:

    Lori, I love that in the quote he says “for too many days in a row”. I value my time immensely and teach my clients to do the same but it’s never been realistic to me to live every day as if it were the last day of our life. Really, if today were the last day of my life I would keep my kids home from school and my husband and I would skip work. Now, I love my work, it has great meaning to me and I do believe it’s valuable. But if I really only have 24 hours left I want to spend them with the people I love most and am closest too. And yes, I could homeschool my kids so they were home every day but we did that and we know that now it’s time for them to be in a different setting so keeping them home every day won’t work.

    The addition of those words, too many days in a row, give us just enough breathing room to use this as a better yard stick. Thank you for changing the angle just that little bit.

    • Lori Saitz Says:

      Appreciate your insight, Sandy. Yes, we may all have a day or two here and there that aren’t exactly what we love, but when there are too many of those days stacking up, it’s a different story.

  2. Evan Griffith Says:


    Exceptional, pithy thought blast to keep in mind every day! Essentially you’re asking of every action and every moment: Is this valuable? Is this meaningful?

    Sandy’s comment creates the greater context the Steve Jobs quote doesn’t fully address — what if it’s not my last day of life, or even my last year, how can I make this time meaningful today . . . .and still pay my bills next year?

    Thanks to you both — you’ve energized the beginning of my day — and what better time than the beginnings of the day to assess what is important.

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