Editor's note: Jeffrey Reeves' introduction to "The Way to Wealth" provides an overview of this weekly blog series.
Benjamin Franklin’s recounting, in the persona of Father Abraham, of the advice delivered by Poor Richard’s Almanack during its 25 years of publication continues with some admonitions about chasing a life of leisure that are more appropriate today than even they were 250 years ago when they were first written.
"Methinks I hear some of you say, ‘Must a man afford himself no leisure?’ I will tell thee, my friend, what Poor Richard says, ‘Employ thy time well, if thou meanest to gain leisure; and, since thou art not sure of a minute, throw not away an hour’.”
Right off the bat Father Abraham chastises the questioners. Leisure is the result of work but not its aim. If you want to have leisure time, beware wasting time at work because the hour spent on the Internet, or reading the paper, or discussing last night’s game will reduce your productivity, lengthen your day at work and shorten your time of true relaxation with family and friends.
Self-employed people, professionals, and outside sales reps recognize this relationship more readily perhaps than people
employed by others and monitored with a time clock.
It’s easy to measure the value of time wasted when it translates directly into lost opportunity, lost sales, or extended hours completing a critical project for a revenue producing client.
It’s easy to measure the lost leisure time when the leisure time spent at work keeps you from a golf date with friends,your child’s sports event or musical recital; when the long awaited anniversary dinner has to be postponed at the last minute; when the weekend barbecue goes on without the host, who had to go to the office.
Think about it. Leisure is an outcome of hard work, not its aim.