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Time Bandits

Have you noticed, the more time saving technological innovations we acquire, the less time we seem to have? Mobile phones or should I say, mobile handheld computers, are an excellent example. I was walking down the street a few weeks ago and counted 17 people walking down the same street using their mobile phones. Everywhere you turn an increasing number of people seem to be glued to their phones. In supermarkets you see people who are trying to choose a $3 pack of peas ring their better half to find out which pack to buy. Just that little act would average 2 minutes, maybe 3, by the time you’ve decided to ring, dialled the number, waited for the other person to answer the phone, spoke to them, hung up and put the phone back in your pocket you could have put 20 packs of peas in your trolley. If you multiply this by 10, just in an ordinary 24 hour day you’ve lost 30 minutes of your life. When you multiply this by 365 days, that’s 10,950 minutes, 182.5 hours and almost 8 days per year lost using your mobile phone unnecessarily.

No wonder everybody is stressed, and psychiatrist charge $6 a minute for you to tell them your mobile phone story. When you add all the time you’ve lost using all those other labour saving devices, you could be wasting 2-3, maybe 4, hours a day. There goes the old 8 hours work, 8 hours rest, 8 hours sleep – 8 hour day motto. The motto in the 21st century is 10 hours work (you only get paid for 8), 6 hours sleep and if you're really lucky, when you add the 4 wasted hours, 4 hours sleep.

No wonder there's so much road rage on the roads today and so much anxiety at home, work and in the streets. 21st century humanity has become so sleep deprived the birth rate is falling because people are too tired to think about sex, let alone do something about it. Sometimes we are so busy we don’t even take the time to reflect. Look, I'm not telling you how to live your life, but if you think you're working harder, faster and getting less out of life (sounds like a Coke commercial) take stock of your time. Time banditry is the biggest con on planet earth today. Every second you lose is a second you will never regain. Every second you lose brings you one second closer to immortality (death, if you don’t believe in fairy tales). So why hold yourself up every day stealing your precious time?

We have a few new words for this phenomenon – “time poor”. We are so time poor we spend “quality time” with the kids and family. Quality time is just an excuse for not using your time wisely.

Time bandits hide in every nook and cranny in the 21st century. They do more damage than any armed robber could ever do. If time bandits are eating up your precious seconds, send them packing. Look at your day, get rid of those time saving labour devices, before you know it you won’t need quality time to rediscover your humanity. You may even go on that holiday you promised the kids last year.

Dr. Joseph Toscano