Possibly, the oldest time management publication ever written?
At around 2,000 years old - On the shortness of life, by Seneca, must surely be close!
The great Roman philosopher, statesman, dramatist Seneca ( BC 4 – AD 64) wrote many letters encouraging friends to apply themselves to the task of living a free, wise, tranquil and joyful life. This is my favourite - It’s powerful message is as relevant today as it was during the golden years of the Roman Empire.
Oh! you think some dry old text won’t be relevant to YOU?
I respectfully suggest that you think again! - This volume speaks loud and clear - appealing directly to the modern day reader, offering clarity, wisdom and insights that can only be described as ‘Timeless’.
“It is not that we have a short space of time, but that we waste much of it. Life is long enough, and it has been given in sufficiently generous measure to allow the accomplishment of the very greatest things if the whole of it is well invested. But when it is squandered in luxury and carelessness, when it is devoted to no good end, forced at last by the ultimate necessity we perceive that it has passed away before we were aware that it was passing. So it is – the life we receive is not short, but we make it so, nor do we have any lack of it, but are wasteful of it.”
“Many are kept busy either in the pursuit of other men’s fortune or in complaining of their own; in following no fixed aim, shifting and inconstant and dissatisfied, are plunged by their fickleness into plans that are ever new, some have no fixed principle by which to direct their course, but Fate takes them unawares while they loll and yawn.”
Seneca hits the nail on the head in this essay, as he describes the many ways in which his contemporaries waste their lives on distractions whilst not noticing that the time allotted to them is constantly running out - whether they notice it or not.
2000 years on - has the status quo changed?
It seems to me that we simply have more of the same - just look around!
For me the quotes above sum up so much of modern life too - so many hours squandered at the beck and call of others or the incessant pull of following the herd - wasting the most precious thing we own - Life Itself.