Connect with us

Blogs & Perspectives

Time and Time Again

A few words about your most precious resource



Faster and faster, multi-tasking, more to do in less and less time. Chaos reigns as we speedball our fractured attention to the future. Time turns out to be the ultimate luxury: the thing we want most, don't have enough of, cannot control and now rely on as the primary excuse for every modern failure: “I didn't have the time.”

Herewith a scrapbook of carefully collected quotes about time.

It is my hope that one of these, any one of these, will hit you personally and inspire you to make better choices about your time. (Mine was the prayer, “Slow me down, Lord!” In its simple force, it struck me as my best wish, my heart's desire, my serenity. And as Emerson said, “Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.”)

There are many here; there need to be, because what works for you is different than what works for me. That's why you can read all the self-help books in the world and gain nothing until you write your own, as unmistakably as your autobiography. (In fact, what you do with your time is your autobiography.)

Eventually, you'll ask this question as regularly as breathing: “What is the best use of my time right now?” I hope the best use of your time will be to dwell here quietly, meditate, amble, make your way through the wisdom on the subject of your best possession and find what gives you back the gift of time.


What is the best use of my time right now?

Terence Conran first gave things a big twist way back in the days of Mary Quant and even before the Beatles. He produced The House Book that showed the world how to live cheaply — and beautifully. This was a new thought. His King's Road store exploded because no such thing had ever been seen before: a store that sold tasteful, even exciting housewares and bath furnishings, and cheap. Design marries economy and a new world is born. Bingo.

What is the best use of my time right now?

Alan Lakein, How To Get Control of Your Time and Your Life

Have you got a minute?


McDonald's billboard

Never before have we had so little time in which to do so much.

Franklin D. Roosevelt

“A slow sort of country!” said the Queen. “Now, HERE, you see, it takes all the running YOU can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!”

Lewis Carroll

The time is out of joint. O cursed spite, That ever I was born to set it right.


Hamlet, Shakespeare

Life happens 24 hours a day.

Tom Beebe

Be here now.

Buddhist tenet

The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.

Abraham Lincoln

Time is nature's way of making sure everything doesn't happen at once.


Time, why [do] you punish me?

Hootie and the Blowfish

Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that's the stuff life is made of.

Benjamin Franklin

Until we can manage time, we can manage nothing else.

Peter F. Drucker

You will never find time for anything. If you want time, you must make it.

Charles Bixton

This is the day the Lord hath made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Psalm 117

It's later than you think.

Chinese proverb

If you haven't got the time to do it right, when will you find the time to do it over?

Jeffrey J. Mayer

We will be held accountable for those permitted pleasures we failed to enjoy.

The Haggadah

You can't turn back the clock. But you can wind it up again.

Bonnie Prudden

You cannot kill time without injuring eternity.

Henry David Thoreau

Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.

Carl Sandburg

You are the CEO of your life.

advertising slogan

I have measured out my life in coffee spoons.

T.S. Eliot

All time-management begins with planning.

Tom Greening

Time = Life. Therefore, waste your time and waste your life, or master your time and master your life.

Alan Lakein

Humor is pain plus time.

Kathleen Passanisi

Wasting time is an important part of living.


Time is Too slow for those who Wait, Too swift for those who Fear, Too long for those who Grieve; Too short for those who Rejoice; But for those who Love, Time is Eternity.

Henry Van Dyke

We sleep, but the loom of life never stops, and the pattern which it was weaving when the sun went down is weaving when it comes up in the morning.

Henry Ward Beecher

The surest poison is time.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

If you want to make good use of your time, you have got to know what's most important, and then give it all you've got.

Lee Iacocca

Heck by the time a man scratches his behind, clears his throat, and tells me how smart he is, we've already wasted fifteen minutes.

Lyndon B. Johnson

The idea is to make decisions and act on them &endash; to decide what is important to accomplish, to decide how something can best be accomplished, to find time to work at it and to get it done.

Karen Kakascik

One realizes the importance of time only when there is little of it left. Every man's greatest capital asset is his unexplored years of productive life.

P.W. Litchfield

Lost, yesterday, somewhere between sunrise and sunset, two golden hours, each set with sixty diamond minutes. No reward is offered for they are gone forever.

Horace Mann

Think that this day will never dawn again.


The rule is jam tomorrow and jam yesterday but never jam today.

The White Queen, Through the Looking Glass, Lewis Carroll


a carved stone on John Ruskin's desk

Every day is a new life to a wise man.


May you live every day of your life.

Jonathan Swift

The Time Is Always NOW!

SoHo gallery

If not you, who? If not now, when?

Moses Maimonides



MasterClass: ‘Re-Sparkling’ Retail: Using Store Design to Build Trust, Faith and Brand Loyalty

HOW CAN WE EMPOWER and inspire senior leaders to see design as an investment for future retail growth? This session, led by retail design expert Ian Johnston from Quinine Design, explores how physical stores remain unmatched in the ability to build trust, faith, and loyalty with your customers, ultimately driving shareholder value.

Presented by:
Ian Johnston
Founder and Creative Director, Quinine Design

Promoted Headlines





Most Popular