top of page
Post: Blog2 Post

The time value of time

Judge Norton used to say: "The time value of time is much more valuable than the time value of money.” I worked for the Judge as a federal law clerk my first year out of law school.

As a young lawyer thirty years ago, I did not appreciate what he meant by that, but I do now.

Be purposeful about how you spend your time and talents. Balance your time between your profession, your family, and the activity that fuels you - your "other." Not necessarily in that order.

For thirty years, my "other" was serving in the Navy Reserve. It was fun, yet demanding. It was a challenge to manage with my family and my civilian job, but it was very rewarding. I wore the uniform with pride, loved flying in airplanes, and met some incredible people. I would come home late Sunday night after a reserve weekend completely physically and mentally exhausted, yet energized and fulfilled.

I retired from the Navy Reserve in 2015. Now my "other" is writing and speaking. I am writing a book, I blog here, and I share content on LinkedIn. I also speak a lot. Right now I am on a plane headed to Seattle for work tomorrow, but I will be in Prescott, Arizona, Thursday night as a Guest Speaker at the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University's Aviation History Series. There, I will share the history of Boeing's coming to South Carolina and discuss the amazing 787 Dreamliner that we manufacture in Charleston.

In May, I will be on a panel in New York City at an American Bar Association Conference discussing mental health as a lawyer.

Speaking and writing fuel me now. Ironically, like my time in the Navy Reserve, writing and speaking are fun, demanding, and quite a challenge to fit in. But I do so because I enjoy it.

Here are some other ways to invest your time:

Take a Friday off for a three day weekend. It's incredible how great that 3 day weekend feels.

Use your vacation and PTO benefits. Take a long vacation and try to unplug from the grid.

Go for a walk in the woods or on the beach.

Read a good book.

Visit your parents and call your siblings.

Get some rest. Protect your mental health. Reach out to someone if you are stressed. Help someone if you think they are stressed.

Always put your family first. Invest your time there. There is where you will find the greatest return on the investment of time.

You might think you have to devote hours and hours to your job at the expense of your family. Just be careful. Employers are laying off many these days with little notice and by email messages.

Finally, as I often tell our daughters, even on the worst days, tomorrow will be better!

I saw a sign in a restaurant recently that caught my eye. I won't tell you where I saw it, but I'll tell you what it said: "A good day is a good day. A bad day is a good story. At the end of the day, it's all good."

So many of my worst days have become my best stories over the years!

The time value of time greatly exceeds the time value of money. I get it now, Judge.

Next up, my follow-up post on the Second Motion for a New Trial by Alex Murdaugh's banker Laffitte. As I predicted here, it was denied!

2 comentários

Martin Skelly
Martin Skelly
22 de jul. de 2023

Love this play on the time value of time! A corollary that has helped me increase productivity and happiness relates to how I handle requests for in person meetings or lunches/etc. If my gut tells me that doing the meeting won't be a good use of time today or tomorrow, I never push such a meeting further out. I try to arrange a quick phone call as soon as practical and save the time required to physically meet. It took me a while to realize that the time value of my time at any meeting is going to be just as precious in the future when that finally arrives as it is right at the time of the request.…


TD Smyers
TD Smyers
18 de abr. de 2023

As adept a handling of the time value issue as I've every read, Mark! I subscribe to the ending quote, as well. It's how I stay positive and resilient, even in the wake of setbacks. Another great piece! Safe travels.

bottom of page