Spending & Passing Time

Posted on March 4, 2022. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Following last night’s news in Ukraine, and on the back of 2 years of pandemic, I am acutely aware of time. There is nothing profound in saying that it is so clearly our most valuable, and undeniably limited, resource. Thinking of time as a scarce resource, and looking through a lens of resource allocation, it occurs to me that the phrase “spending time” is much deeper than I’ve previously considered. There is a monumental difference between spending time and passing time. If we were to map it to another form of scarce resource allocation, like money, spending time is like using money and passing time is like losing money. In both cases, your scarce resource declines, but in the first there’s intention and in the second there’s not. So back to time, spending time is intentional and passing time is not, and while both are exchanges, where you receive presence and experience in exchange for your allocation, the ROI on the prior is much higher.

In less analytical parlance, you could say “live each day to the fullest”, or some other cliche, but I think there is an interesting mental adjustment in considering time spent with the same active calculus as money spent. I feel value in asking very frequently, is what I’m doing right now or what I plan to do worth it? I see higher ROI in maintaining an acute and ominpresent awareness of opportunity cost, and in internalizing the greatness of that opportunity cost by assuming that the BATNA is also intentional allocation as opposed to passive expiration.

If we mentally hold our time in the equivalent of a savings account, the strategy that naturally follows is one of conservative allocation and preservation. I think that’s what most people do. We model our life under the assumption of its stability. Yes, we are aware that freak accidents and unfortunate rolls of the dice pertaining to physical health exist, but generally when someone hits 40, for example, they feel confident that they are “mid life” or something like that. But recently I’ve come to terms with the fact that our time doesn’t really exist in a cozy, snug savings account. Or if it does, it’s subject to spikes in inflation, asset seizure, etc.

I don’t know about you, but whatever I’ve got saved up, I’ll be damned if I don’t spend it.

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    I’m a NYC based investor and entrepreneur. I've started a few companies and a venture capital firm. You can email me at Jordan.Cooper@gmail.com (p.s. i don’t use spell check…deal with it)


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