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Understanding time

12.22.2011

babblingdweeb

Not unlike most people, I’m a little weird when it comes to time. Where I am a little different is how I feel about time. I love to obsess about not obsessing about it; while desiring to help other people to obsess about it. That doesn’t sound weird at all, right? Right. Totally makes sense, right? Right. Great. I’ll just post this and we’ll save me the time of trying to explain what the heck I am talking about. *click* Okay, I’ll exaplin this…but it’s going to be a long post. Grab a drink, maybe a cookie and hunker down.

Other than filling space, what the hell am I talking about? Time, all manifistations of it. P.s. when I woke up today, if you told me that I was going to pull the word manifest out and use it in a sentence, I would have laughed. Alas, I digress. So I’m interested in watches (cheap, expensive, digital, analog, pocket or wrist); time management (books, articles, blogs, videos, podcasts and random stories from strangers on the subway); software that does something with timers or time…or hardware, fancy or cheesy things we use; listening to people talk about time management issues. I’m sure there are other things related to time that I am not going to talk about (like Swatch’s 90s alternative to standard time and time zones, @beat. That was cool!).

So that seems pretty much like a ton of other people. The weird part? I hate deadlines, time constraints and well anyting that makes me feel constrained in general. Yet, I like helping people figure out tools or ideas to help them set and maintain deadlines. So some mild deductive logic would make you think that I’ve just been looking at all of these things because I need help with time mamagement and none of them really work for me. Yet, since I remember them or tried them, I can just tell other people about them. That would be only partially true.

At some point many years ago, I was interested in the mechanical nature of time (plain english: watches). If you’ll let me get philosphical for a moment, you’ll see where I am going. I think. Later I realized that while I do still love watches for their mechanical nature, I was really just interested in a human’s attempt to visualize time in different formats and their desire to work with it. Or shall we say, within its constraints. Afterall, we see time as something fixed, if we base it on single day relitive to that individual. Time as it is specific to you. All of these time management ideas, gagets, software and gurus are trying to help you work within your constraints. That’s interesting to me.

People from all walks of life try to operate within this accepted constraint. It’s interesting to see how all of these different people deal with that. It’s a puzzle that give some insight into how we think and act. I don’t know what it can be applied to outside of time, but I just like learning about people…so I watch, I learn, I think. Many people would say I waste time; I’m starting to think I’m just trying stop accepting time’s constraints. Okay, I waste time too, but hear me out…

We need some standards. Need might be a strong word, but go with the flow for the moment. We need to ask “Are you available tomorrow at 3?” You need a way to know if you are, and you need to say yes or no. I need to say “I’ll see you at 3.” and know that you’ll mostl likely be there. I used “need” because I personally do not like the chaos I’m suggesting if we forgo all concepts of time. However, some of us…or maybe all of us need to forget time exists.

…pause… So I was interrupted last week while writing this and now I am trying to collect my thoughts and regroup. Let’s see how I do getting back on track. …play…

What we don’t need? To pay attention to time. We can’t control it. We cant even control what we do with some of it. We think we can, but we can’t. You cannot plan and schedule everything. We should all schedule time in our days to do nothing or something if your heart desires. Eventually, the free time we schedule should become the bulk of our schedule, so we start scheduling less.

I know it’s not practical, but wouldn’t it be nice to work during the hours you are productive? If only that we’re possible. So you see, I’m one of those people who schedules almost everything, but accomplishes very little on the days I don’t schedule my free time. It’s not that I want society to become the procrastinator’s dream…well I guess I do. Is that really so bad?

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