Time is a constraint, not a resource or commodity

A friend recently asked me if time was a commodity. Here is my reply:

Time is most definitely NOT a commodity as each second, minute, hour, day, week, month, year, decade, century, millennia (lifetime) can only be used once. It cannot be traded on a market.

I have also heard the time is a resource, but that is not true either. Human effort, or more precisely, human knowledge is certainly a resource, but thinking of time as a resource isn’t quite right. What good is “an hour” of a person’s time who lacks the ability or knowledge to get something done.

Most properly, time is best thought of as a constraint – a limitation or boundary to which we all must adhere. We humans all have, roughly, the same amount of time. The question is what do we do with it. In other words, our inputs (effort) are about the same. The more important question is, “What are our outputs, or better, our outcomes?”

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