Time and personal well-being is a fascinating and intricate subject that have captivated the attention of scientists and laypeople seeking to enhance their quality of life. As an intangible yet omnipresent force, time serves as a fundamental dimension of human existence. It influences our daily routines, shapes our experiences, and plays a pivotal role in our overall well-being. How we perceive and manage our time can significantly affect our mental, emotional, and physical health. In this article, I delve into the labyrinthine dynamics between time and personal well-being, exploring the importance of time awareness, effective time utilization, and the pursuit of a harmony between past, present, and future to foster a sense of purpose and satisfaction in our lives.

The first key factor in personal well-being is having control over our time. When we deliberately choose how we allocate our time, we are more likely to be happy and fulfilled. In contrast, when our day is filled with tasks we cannot control, we may become overwhelmed and unhappy.

Another vital element is the balance between work and leisure. Research has shown that people who have a solid work-life balance between tend to experience higher levels of well-being. This highlights the importance of spending time with loved ones or pursuing hobbies, besides fulfilling work and other responsibilities.

Use the 10-70-20 framework to Deal with the Past, Present, and Future

The third critical component is knowing how to reconcile the time spent in the past, time invested enjoying the present, and the time used dreaming about the future. As a rule of thumb, I would use a 10-70-20 framework to dictate how we interact with the past, present, and future. We should invest ten percent of our time in the past. This is the time we spend recalling beautiful memories, analyzing past mistakes, or drown in regrets. The biggest chunk of our time—i.e. seventy percent of it—would be spent in the present taking action towards our goals and simply enjoying ourselves. And the remainder would be spent dreaming and visualizing our future. As you may realize, these numbers are only theoretical guidelines and will vary from one person to another.

That combination may change. For example, someone who has just made significant life change will spend a great deal of time analyzing and assessing mistakes past mistakes. I still caution, though; no matter how big the proportion of time spent in the past; we should never let it grow higher than the time spent in the present. It may be as big as the future, but no bigger. For example, the first three months of a major transformation will resemble this: 30-40-30. As you move along, make sure you adjust this mix and avoid falling into the paralysis by analysis trap. 

Finally, the way we perceive time can also affect our well-being. Those with a perception of having enough time are more fulfilled with their lives, even if the amount of free time is the same as someone who is always pressed for time. This suggests that our perceptions of time are just as important as the actual amount of time we have at our disposal.


I will finish this article with an Action Plan and Reflection Question. Hope they help you understand how you spend time so you can improve your well-being.

Action Plan

  1. Think of a past mistake that caused regrets today. Decide now to learn and grow from it.
  2. Spend 10 minutes at least four times a week, undisturbed in the comfort of your room, envisioning your ideal future.


  1. Do you think it is important to dream? 
  2. You learned the 10-70-20 method. Do you intend to use the numbers in different proportions? Why? Why not?

Feel free to answer those questions in the comments section below*

Join 1,084 other subscribers