Which clock is ticking?
And which one is strategic?
Which clock is ticking? Which one is strategic?
It's been a recurring theme for me to harp here on the value and importance of time. I’ve previously written about the “speed” of time, and the fact that time fixes all strategic problems. But here I go again.
There are always many clocks ticking. You must mind them all. Or try to. At least the ones that matter most.
I noticed this when I broke down some expenses recently on a spreadsheet. I looked at how we spent our money, and it was simple to spot a pattern based on time.
We have monthly fixed costs, like a specific amount we pay for an HOA and internet service. We have monthly variable costs, those that come every month but are ever-changing, like food or electricity.
We have annual fixed costs, like certain bills that come up but are relatively stable, like our property taxes or summer camps for kids. And then we have the annual variable types. This category is the one-off variety that can swing wildly from year to year. For example, in one previous year we affixed solar panels to the roof, and this year my wife has planned a trip with a friend to Everest Basecamp.
Altogether, that’s quite literally the most mundane example of multiple clocks smashing against a key life priority. If you’re zeroing in on daily expenses but have no regard for the big annual variable bucket, you might rightly be called “penny-wise and pound foolish.” The trick is to pay attention to all impactful levels of time: the seconds-hand, the minutes-hand, the hours-hand, as well as the longer-range calendar.
President Zelensky in Ukraine must worry about many clocks at once. He's thinking about Russia's clock, his Western allies' clock, this near-neighbor-supporter's clock (i.e., Poland), the American clock, and, most importantly—every Ukrainian’s clock.