How to live longer

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.

Seneca the Younger

Time is our most scarce and valuable resource.

Our calendar is the foremost tool that we use to manage and control our time.

Mastery over that tool gives us better control over the usage of our most scarce resource, time.

Spending our time

I get on a bit of a soapbox about time, and its premium in my personal philosophy and ethical system. Sometimes this can feel almost pathological. Why?

  • Over-emphasis on time can cause you to obsess over it — pulling you out of the moment, and keep you from being present. It can allow time to slip by.
  • And the dark side of the time value of money is that it reduces a moment with a loved one down to a dollar value. You can put a price tag on everything, including the hour you spent playing with your children. Was it worth it? At what price wouldn’t it have been worth it? Everything has a price! See how this kind of logic – this rational economics calculation – can pervert moments that feel valuable beyond reduction to a dollar amount? There’s a part of our moral compass that wants certain things be sacrosanct – pure, and off limits from economic principles.
  • Finally, if “time efficiency” is the utmost goal – for the sake of economizing that time, where’s the “human element”?. What inherent worth do I have as a human, whether or not I’m optimizing this scarce resource?

To all that I say, “yeah, ….but you have X more days to live”. [In my case, X ~ 22K]

And then nothingness.

So, how are you going to spend those days? Frugally? Wantonly?

How about thoughtfully and deliberately?

The core economic concepts of time value of money, opportunity cost, time discount factor, and efficiency all drive us towards a more thoughtful and deliberate use of our most scarce and valuable resource: time.

Shortcuts

Want a huge leap towards mastery of your time? Learn to use your calendar’s shortcuts.

The difference is night and day. The small friction you feel every time you need to navigate your calendar dissolves. You’ll feel much greater ease of control over your calendar, and therefore, your time.

Google Calendar Shortcuts

T = brings you to current {day, week, month}
W = weekly view
D = daily view
M = monthly view
J = go forward (next {day, week, month})
K = go backward (previous {day, week, month})

Sample ‘Recipes’

Now, when I need to navigate my time, it’s so quick!

I reflexively — and therefore, effortlessly — navigate the UI of my time.

Example 1. “What am I doing tomorrow?”
=> type D (daily view), T (today),J (next day). boom!

Example 2. “What day did I meet up with X last week?”
=> type W (weekly view), T (this week), K (previous week). voila!

How to set it up

1. Go to settings: https://calendar.google.com/calendar/b/1/r/settings

2. Enable shortcuts:

3. That’s it! Take a few min to learn these, and enjoy greater autonomy over your most scarce resource ⏳

Fin.

Appendix

Official Resources for iCal and GCal:

More on GCal shortcuts from support.google.com

Or, if you use iCal: iCal shortcuts