The Importance of Abundance of Time

The Cecily Group has built its philosophy around the concept of the Four Abundances: Money, Time, Relationships, and Purpose. These pillars are essential for achieving a holistic and sustainable legacy for future generations. Among these, the Abundance of Time is particularly crucial as it directly impacts one’s ability to make strategic decisions, nurture relationships, and find fulfilment in purposeful activities.

According to a study by Geiger et al. (2021), time wealth encompasses several dimensions: sufficient time, an unhurried pace, plannability, sovereignty, and synchronisation​​.

  1. Sufficient time refers to having enough discretionary time after fulfilling necessary obligations such as work and personal care. It’s the foundational aspect of time wealth, allowing individuals to engage in meaningful activities.
  2. An unhurried pace, or the ability to perform activities without feeling rushed contributes significantly to one’s overall well-being. An unhurried pace reduces stress and enhances the quality of life.
  3. Plannability is the capacity to foresee and plan future events and thereby provide stability and security, which is crucial for long-term satisfaction.
  4. Sovereignty means having control over one’s schedule and the freedom to decide how to use time is a key aspect of time wealth. It allows individuals to align their activities with their personal and biological rhythms.
  5. Synchronisation or coordinating one’s schedule with those of significant others is important for maintaining healthy relationships and a balanced life. Effective synchronisation minimises conflicts and enhances social cohesion.

Very often, burnout finds its root cause in a lack of sovereignty over one’s own time.

The Consequences of Time Wealth

Geiger et al.’s research highlights that an Abundance of Time positively correlates with higher life satisfaction and sustainable consumption behaviours. Specifically, an unhurried pace and synchronisation with others are strong predictors of these outcomes​​. Conversely, multitasking and constantly filling pauses with activities can diminish the perception of time wealth, leading to increased stress and reduced well-being.

Practical Implications

Families can create an environment conducive to thoughtful decision-making and meaningful interactions by increasing discretionary time and reducing unnecessary busyness. Tools and processes that enhance plannability and synchronisation can further support this goal, ensuring family members have the time and freedom to engage in activities that align with their values and long-term objectives. These tools and strategies include:

  • Establishing a Family Council: A well-organised family council acts as a governance body that represents the interests of all family members. It ensures that decisions are made collectively and transparently, reducing conflicts and streamlining processes. The family council should meet regularly to discuss and decide on key issues, ensuring all voices are heard and considered.
  • Creating Clear Roles and Responsibilities: Defining clear roles and responsibilities within the family business helps prevent overlaps and reduces the likelihood of neglect. Each member should understand their duties and the expectations associated with their role, which promotes accountability and efficiency.
  • Developing a Family Council Canvas: our tool outlines the vision, values, and long-term goals of the family and the family business. It serves as a guiding document that helps align the actions of family members with the collective mission, fostering unity and a sense of purpose.
  • Selecting Trusted Advisors: Advisors who are emotionally invested in the family business and its long-term success can provide invaluable guidance. They should understand the family’s values and objectives and work towards the greater good of the family. Trusted advisors can offer objective perspectives, helping the family navigate complex decisions.
  • Utilising Technology and Automation: Leveraging technology to automate routine tasks can significantly reduce the burden on family members. Tools such as financial management software, project management systems, and communication platforms streamline operations and improve efficiency. Creating robust reporting mechanisms ensures that delegated tasks are monitored and progress is tracked. Regular reports provide insights into the status of various projects, allowing family members to stay informed without being involved in day-to-day operations.
  • Training and Empowering Team Members: Investing in the training and development of team members enhances their ability to take on responsibilities. Empowering them with the necessary skills and knowledge ensures an effective performance of duties, reducing the need for constant oversight.
  • Check for Mimetic Desires: Occasionally, we pursue goals that require a high level of our time commitment for no other reason than us trying to “be as good as the others”. These goals are not based on what we truly believe or want, but on what we observe in the world around us.

Conclusion

The Abundance of Time is a critical component of the Four Abundances framework. By understanding and addressing the drivers and consequences of time wealth, families can ensure the successful transfer of their legacy to future generations, while enhancing the life quality of their members. The Cecily Group is committed to helping families achieve this balance, providing the tools and guidance necessary to navigate the complexities of time management and strategic planning.

Reference:

S.M. Geiger, J.-P. Freudenstein, G. von Jorck, S. Gerold, U. Schrader (2021) ‘Time wealth: Measurement, drivers and consequences’, Current Research in Ecological and Social Psychology, Volume 2. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cresp.2021.100015.