Beautiful Models: Time-Density

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“What is the most important resource?”

“I’m thinking time, because it is non-renewable.”

“Would you say the more you have, the better?”


“What if you have a lot of time, but you don’t have the energy to make use of it?”

“Then, I guess, all that time is for nought.”

“The time you have is a potentiality, which is actualized by how you use it.

To actualize time, you need energy.

I love Robert Greene’s idea – which I’ve turned into a mental model – that there’s only two types of time: alive time and dead time.

You actualize time by turning it into alive time.

Dead time is wasted time.

Think of a leaking bucket. The potential time you have is the holding capacity of the bucket. The actual time you have, is however much water you have at any given time.

You also actualize time by increasing time-density.

“What is time-density?”

“It’s how efficiently you make use of it.

If you learn something in half the time compared to someone else (learning-density), then you can dedicate the time difference to other pursuits. In the same amount of time, you’ve done more things. This applies to not just learning, but also experiences (experiential-density), creative output (creative-density), and growth more generally (growth-density).

Over the course of a lifetime, increased time-density can amount to years.

With a high time-density you can live more than your years.

The converse is also true:

With a low time-density you can live less than your years.



About Dani Trusca

Playfully seeking wisdom

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