If Time Were Diamonds

Time DiamondsI recently re-discovered an article that I wrote where I contemplated how projects would be managed differently if time were treated as diamonds.  And really, why shouldn’t time be treated like diamonds?  Both are non-renewable resources, limited in supply, and high in demand.

The sparkle and shine of a diamond conveys its immediate value. But what about time?

We spend it, waste it, use it, and lose it so often without as much as a second thought. How often do you stop and think, am I really making the most of this day?  Hour?  Minute?

Seasons for a Reason

I was reflecting not too long ago on how much I enjoy the change of the seasons. Every winter I lament not being fortunate enough to live somewhere that’s perpetually sunny and warm all year long.  California dreaming?

But those moments pass, usually when the winds change and winter melts into spring.  There are four seasons, but I’m only in love with one of them.  Summer.  Of course.  I love summer.  Summer is the perfect season.  But I don’t know that I would appreciate it as much if I could take it for granted.  The changing of seasons reminds me of the finite nature of time.  It somehow gives me that sense of urgency that I sometimes need to keep moving forward.

Calculate Your Time Diamonds

Here’s something to contemplate this weekend.  How old are you now?  How long will you live?  Take a wild guess, or just use the typical life expectancy age for where you live.  So now you have the likely maximum number of years you have left in this world.  And for the sake of this discussion, let’s leave aside whether or not you believe in worlds other than this one, and whatever grand plans you may have for that.

Now, every year has four seasons.  Even if it’s sunny all year where you live, the earth continues to rotate along, changing its relative position to the sun, and therefore, changing seasons. So now pick a season.  Pick your favorite season.

There’s one last item to factor in.  And it’s an important one.  Because do you really want to count all of the years that you have left to live, or just the good ones?  Ok, the good ones and the mediocre ones.  But let’s lob off any years that are spent in pain, fear, confusion, anguish, or any other terrible outcomes from any generally debilitating illness.  Aging isn’t for the weak.

With my family history and general luck profile, I project that I have a better than average chance of developing Alzheimer’s, Cancer, Diabetes, Arthritis, Heart Disease, or some stellar combination of all five.  Do I really want to count however many months or years of deterioration in my overall runway of time left?  No.

So here’s the formula:

[Guesstimated Age at Death]


[Current Age]


[Years You’d Have Been Better Off Dead]


Number of [Favorite Season] seasons left

How does that number look to you?  Looks really low to me.  How many summers do you have left?  20?  30?  40?

Maybe you’re lucky enough to have a 50 or 60.  Still.  Pretty small number.

To make things even worse, we can’t really depend upon that Guesstimated Age at Death number, can we?  The universe likes to pull the rug out from under us when we least expect it.  But that gets too depressing, so let’s stick with our chosen numbers.

Those are your diamonds. One diamond per instance of favorite season that you have left in your bank.

How will you choose to spend your time diamonds?