The importance of time management is universally accepted, advised and quotedPeter Drucker once wrote “time is the scarcest resource and unless it is managed nothing else can be managed.”

But time is not scarce; it is in great abundance.  Everyone has it, it is equally distributed and there is an endless supply of it (Apocalyptic notions aside). Any attempt to manage it is futile—time is self-sustaining and it cannot be manipulated, accelerated, paused or reversed (Einstein and string theory aside).

What is scarce is YOUR time and unless YOU manage it, YOU will struggle to manage everything else.

This is in fact what Drucker meant when he penned the above statement for “Know Thy Time”, the second chapter of his 1967 book “The Effective Executive.” I simply evaluated the statement outside of its original context, which is how it is most often presented.

Semantics?  Sure, but it illustrates the duality of time: it marks the end of many things for you, yet it has no end itself. It often stops your progression, yet its own progression cannot be stopped. It creates finite constraints for you while enabling infinite potential for all of us.

In short, time is not scarce.  Your contributions are.

So consider not only where you contribute time, but what time will do with your contribution. Will it foster new ideas? Will it motivate others? Will it drive change? Will it inform and educate? Will it help to make a difference?

If not, then why spend time on it?