Ethics of Time Use

Since time is one of our most valuable resources, considering how we can most wisely use our time is an important ethical consideration. In current culture, we tend to divide our time into several main categories:

  • Sleep – we need an adequate amount of sleep in order to function well, but how much and what manner we accumulate our sleep hours is open to debate. It seem obvious that there are “out of bounds” conditions of too little and too much sleep. But it may be that exactly how many hours of sleep is needed varies greatly with the individual and their environment and the rest of their lifestyle. Likewise, while most folks seem to enjoy sleeping for a set block of hours each “night”, others insist that “power naps” and shorter blocks of sleeping time offer them maximum performance. Diet and nutrition also play a factor in sleep needs.
  • Work – specifically, this means work for employment or some kind of job that is the primary means of financial support. But generally, it can also mean any kind of effort that is considered to not be enjoyable
  • Chores – are small work-like jobs that need to be done for routine household maintenance (or some other environment) but may or may not contribute directly to work (the primary means of financial support).
  • Leisure – what you do when you have a free choice of what to do with your time, meaning there is no strong obligation to sleep, do work or chores.

Ethics is about doing the right thing and how we spend our time can create a large effect on the rest of our life and how ethical our behavior is. We cannot sacrifice our sleep time in order to work hard without eventually experiencing some consequences from it, and if we focus entirely on leisure activities or ignore them completely, the rest of our life may suffer. Integration is often the key, in finding ways to connect the activities so that we understand that sleep supports work, work enables financing leisure and keeping chores done makes everything else operate more smoothly. Balance is also important. We must pay attention to the requirements of each activity: productive work needs enough rest and relaxation, restful sleep may require chores to be complete, chores and leisure need financing from work. Establishing how much of each is needed and other quality-like characteristics is essential to finding balance.

Ethical time use can contribute to a productive life effort and a sense of fulfilment and satisfaction. By maintaining a good awareness of our ethical status and decision making process, the ability to harmonize with energies around us is enhanced and our ability to connect with areas that are more remote from ourself is expanded.

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The Logic of Ethics
Beyond Turing
Ethical Advisors
Ethics as Prediction

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