Ruben Krueger

Be Thoughtful With Your Time.

A spooky image I made for the spooky month.

For someone who is far (probably) from the end of the road of life, I contemplate my mortality often. Everyday I am reminded that everything I have done, everyone I have loved, and every memory I cherish will disappear with the decay of my neurons.

I do not profess to be a philosopher, scholar, or even someone who is particularly wise. Yet, I do have a piece of advice that many people seem to live their lives without: be parsimonious with your time; spend it like you will never get it back; focus on what you value and the good life.

This may not seem profound, nor I am the best example of such a philosophy. Moreover, I must confess this advice is not even mine, but an ersatz distillation of various philosophies and authors; most notably, from the computer science professor and writer Cal Newport, who defines the concept of the deep life (a reference to deep work) as:

To me, the deep life is about focusing with energetic intention on things that really matter — in work, at home, and in your soul — and not wasting too much attention on things that don’t.

If you are thoughtful with your time, answering the most important questions in life will be possible. If you are not, good luck; I hope you will have more time than me. While I loathe the bromidian practice of quoting dead men who never ventured more than a few hundred miles from Greece, I feel obligated to disgorge an excerpt from Seneca:

This is our big mistake, to think we look forward to death. Most of death is already gone. Whatever time has passed is owned by death.

Each one of us needs to define our own values and life meaning. No matter how you find your happiness — in your career, creative endeavours, or personal relationships — you never will find this source of happiness if you do not reflect on and partition your time with purpose.

Death owns the clock, but you can control the time—your time, that is.


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