Time is precious

Time is precious. Time is valuable. Like many people I know, I do not have enough time to accomplish everything I want to do. I seem to have an endless supply of tasks to accomplish, as well as an ever growing list of things I would like to do and places I would like to go, but I rarely have time to reach all of my personal goals. Although, as the owner of the company where I work, I can usually set my schedule, there are many times when my schedule is determined by someone else (such as judge or a client). I am not paid “by the hour”; I do not “punch a clock”; and my pay is never “docked” if I am late or absent from work. This being said, I must still account for my time. On many lawsuits in which I am involved as a trial consultant, my time is billed on a global, or project, basis when my staff and I are conducting mock trials or focus groups on behalf of a client. On other occasions, such as when I am assisting attorneys in selecting juries or preparing their witnesses to testify, I bill my time at an hourly rate that contains a minimum fee. Whatever the billing method, I am paid for my time by the clients who have retained my services. Accordingly, my time is a valuable commodity, such that I dislike spending time on meaningless tasks and/or tasks that can be undertaken by someone on my behalf, thereby freeing my time for work that only I can accomplish for a client of my company. I was recently reminded of the passage of time and the fact that, once lost, time cannot often be recaptured. My reminder was the re-release of The Beatles album, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, first released in 1967, and, alongside it, the 50th anniversary of the “Summer of Love.” I can remember June 1, 1967 as if it were yesterday! I couldn’t wait for the “Sgt. Pepper’s” album to be released and I was at a local store in my hometown, Fort Myers, soon after it went on sale. Suffice it to say that all the recent publicity about the events of the summer of 1967 led me to exclaim, “Where did the time go?” as I marveled over my life of the past 50 years. Many of us spend our time as if it will last forever, then we wonder what happened when it begins to tick away from us. My advice is: guard your time and use it wisely. To quote a 1973 song by Seals and Crofts, “We may never pass this way again.”

To borrow another rock and roll reference to time, from the Alan Parsons Project, the 1981 song “Time,” contained on the album Turn of a Friendly Card, includes the lyrics “Time, flowing like a river….Till it’s gone forever, Gone forever”. I’ve thought of that haunting tune many times thinking about the past 25+ years of operating Magnus. It is hard to consider all of the cases, clients, employees, and places that have been a part of that time. Time is flowing, for us, from one case/client to another and the focus goes from the case immediately past to the next one. Sometimes reflecting on the passage of time marked by these events is humbling. Like our parents or grandparents said when we were children, time seems to speed up as we age – we’ve reached that age! Time becomes a matter of prioritizing tasks to ensure that everything is accomplished. But it is also important to carve out time for oneself and family. This rejuvenating time is time well spent. I sometimes find myself looking for a few hours to grab a camera and head to a nearby photo location or to otherwise find time to “clear my head” with some diversion. This is not wasted time (must be another song out there somewhere for that phrase); it is important time that gives the mind a respite, and helps focus (camera pun intended) during work time and time spent on necessary activities. The river will keep flowing on – but not letting the dam like stress build up along that river is key to overall sanity, success and living life.

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