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Time management (from the classics)

senecaThe end of a year inevitably causes many of us to reflect on the past and consider where we can improve. For consultants, and other busy professionals, one of the hardest and most rewarding thing to master is time management. Although there are dozens of good books on this subject, sometimes the answer is right in front of us in the classics.

I came across a great essay by Seneca – On the Shortness of Life – written ~2000 years ago which struck home for me. The essay (and indeed book) is full of great sayings, including:


I am always surprised to see some people demanding the time of others and meeting a most obliging response. Both sides have in view the reason for which the time is asked and neither regards the time itself — as if nothing there is being asked for and nothing given. They are trifling with life’s most precious commodity, being deceived because it is an intangible thing, not open to inspection and therefore reckoned very cheap — in fact, almost without any value.

Essentially, he suggests that we be frugal with our time and not waste it. Should be required reading for all.

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