Do You Have Time to Lose?

It was Benjamin Franklin's idea to set the clocks ahead in the spring so we could spend our daylight hours more productively (early to bed, early to rise...). Well the idea caught on; tomorrow, Sunday, is the day when we set our clocks forward and "spring ahead".

Franklin also said that "time is money", which may have sounded good back then but just the thought of that mantra as it relates to our present lifestyles, makes my heart race. Our society wants to make every minute count, even to the point of employing the language of banking in relation to time with verbs such as "saving", "investing" and "wasting".

As it turns out, this obsession with time is even making us sick. Believing that time is money to lose, we perceive our shortage of time as stressful. This situation then turns on our fight or flight mechanism. Consequently, the area of our brain that makes us calm down and plan time wisely is shut off. When we become erratic, we make mistakes and that takes time to fix. So more often our time is spent taking care of more tasks (like finding lost keys or correcting a mistake at work) and our productivity goes down.

The downstream effect is a rise in heart disease and depression, which are both stress-related illnesses and are linked to the majority of premature deaths in industrialized nations. It's seems like a cat chasing it's tail scenario.

So when you set your clocks ahead tomorrow, you might want to make a pact to give yourself some more time each day...with no strings attached. Being well-rested is a great investment in your health.

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