Right Use of Time
Essay # 1
The object is aimed at by the right use of time.
The bad results of
Too much time may be spent in night reading, theatres, and other amusements, which are harmless or even profitable if used in moderation.
The art of using time aright is so to live that we may in our short life do as much good work as we can, and neglect no opportunity of improving ourselves intellectually and morally. In this way, we may expect to be happy ourselves and make others happy. The rules to be laid down for the proper use of time can best be expressed negatively. They take the form of warnings against the various ways in which we are tempted to waste our time.
One of the most important of these rules is that we should avoid unpunctuality. It was wittily said of a certain English Prime Minister that he lost half an hour every morning and ran after it all the day without being able to overtake it. The unpunctual businessman who has several appointments to keep in the course of the day, is likely, if he is late for the first appointment, to be late for all the subsequent ones. And his being late for even one appointment may involve great waste of time, as in many cases the Punctual man who has come in time will not wait for the late, corner so that both of them lose the time they have taken to come to the meeting place.
A fault resembling unpunctuality is procrastination, which has well been called the thief of time. Procrastination is the habit of putting off till tomorrow what we can do today. One great danger of this lies in the uncertainty of the future. By tomorrow circumstances may have changed, and it may be then out of our power to do, what we intended Even though the material circumstances have not changed, yet each tomorrow, when it comes is converted into today, and then there is another tomorrow to which we are likely once more to postpone our neglected duty. The evil of procrastination is an obstacle to moral progress. The way to hell is said to be paved with good intentions because the good resolutions we make to reform ourselves in the future are so often broken. If we are really determined to cure ourselves of any bad habit, we ought, in the words of the poet Longfellow, to “act in the living present,” and at once begin to amend our course.
Besides these general tendencies resulting in waste of time that we have been considering, we have to be constantly on our guard against special temptations to idle amusements. Many wastes a large amount of valuable, time in reading sensational novels, which are so exciting that they cannot easily be laid aside. Others spend many hours of the week skimming through the columns of newspapers land reading petty details of personal gossip that it is impossible and useless to remember. Others exhaust their energies by sitting up, night after night, in hot theatres, from which they return home so late that in the morning they, are unfit for their daily work. Others spend too much time in conversation with their friends when they ought to be working.
All these ways of passing the time are perfectly harmless if used in moderation as means of refreshing our weary faculties. It is absolutely necessary that we should have intervals of leisure from work and it is quite possible to go to the other extreme and waste time by Unseasonable activity when we ought, to be resting, or by attempting work which is useless or beyond our powers. But the opposite fault is far more common. Human beings on the whole are more apt to be idle when they should work, than to work when they require rest. Therefore, those who teach us to make the best use of our time are right in especially insisting upon the danger of spending too much time in our favourite pastimes.
The Right Use of Time
Essay # 2
- Time is limited.
- So it must be used carefully.
- Method necessary in the use of time:
A rich man may spend his money carelessly; but a man with a limited income must practice economy, so as to waste nothing and get the most out of every rupee he spends. Now, the time at our disposal is strictly limited. When we are young, with all life before us, we are tempted to be careless about how we spend our time because we imagine we have so much of it: but as the years slip away and we find that we are growing old, we realize how short, and uncertain, life is; and, we discover too late, that we have wasted the greater part of it in aimless pursuits.
To use our time wisely, therefore, it is necessary for us to realize early in life that our time is limited, and so every hour of it is precious. We cannot afford to waste it. To idle, aimless people, time goes slowly and life seems long; but to an earnest man, who has the ambition to achieve some solid success before he dies, life seems all too short for his work; and so he uses every hour to the full. To him, “art is long, and life is short”
: Ars longa, vita brevis. He feels as the aged Ulysses felt.
To get the best out of our time, some method of using it is necessary. Alfred the Great, the wise king of Wessex, used to divide the twenty-four hours of each day into three parts, devoting eight hours to work, eight hours to sleep, and eight hours to recreation.
A certain amount of time we must give to sleep, which is as necessary for life as food. But lazy people spend far more time in their beds than is necessary, and all-time unnecessarily spent in sleep is simply lost and wasted.
A certain amount of recreation is also necessary.
“All work and no play, Makes Jack a dull boy.”
But we must be careful that our amusements and leisure hours are really re-creative. Some forms of amusement, even if they are not vicious, are exhausting and do us more harm than good; and a lot of time is wasted in idle gossip or in simply doing nothing. A person whose occupation is sedentary wants open-air recreation, such as sport, games, or gardening; while a manual worker will find his best recreation in reading or rest.
But the main part of life should be spent on honest, useful work. Most of us have to work so many hours a day simply to earn a living: but those who are rich enough to live without working, should choose some congenial occupation, and devote the best part of their day to it. A man with nothing to do, not only achieves nothing in life but, finding time heavy on his hands, is tempted to waste it in frivolous or even vicious pleasures.