six truths about time ⏱
(and not a productivity hack in sight: not this week, anyway)
Hello dear reader,
It’s been half term for many. Pumpkin farms are the thing, it has seemingly rained a year’s worth of rain in parts of the UK, and the clocks went back throwing us all into the week when we don’t know when the actual time is. The car clock is wrong, the kitchen clock is wrong, and the oven clock is wrong, possibly for six months. Shout out to my 15-year-old son who had CHANGED THE OVEN CLOCK LAST NIGHT even before the clocks had gone back without even being asked. This is a deep mystery: I have asked for the toilet roll to be replaced when finished on repeat for fifteen years with very little success, but the oven clock? Gladly obliges without any provocation whatsoever.
I digress. I saw this tweet yesterday.
Time. This weird construct that we sense is slipping away, even when we are given an hour for free in October. There is never enough of it.
I have an app on my phone (genuinely not sure why I installed it) that beeps two minutes before the hour. It reminds me that another hour has gone. Beep. Can’t get that one back. Beep. Another one gone. I *think* I installed it because I thought it could act as a productivity/ mindfulness aid but it has instead enabled me to have a mini existential crisis on the hour, every hour. Beep.
Time feels like it is running away, speeding up, disappearing from us, getting quicker every year. Of course, scientifically we know that time doesn’t alter its speed but our experience tells us otherwise. It can begin to instil in us a sense of panic, of losing a grip and if I don’t hurry up I will be left behind.
I think another week I could share some productivity hacks and ways for us to use our time well, but today I mainly want to remind you of a couple of hopefully helpful truths about time.
1. You will never feel like you have enough of it
2. You will often underestimate how long something will take you on any given day – let’s learn from this and adjust our daily expectations of ourselves
3. You will often underestimate how much progress you can actually make in a year – be courageous and recognise that small steps every day really do add up (more on this another time)
4. Time IS precious – we will never know how much of it we have. How do you want to spend your time? We all have to do the mundane and the everyday, but are you doing things too that leave a lasting legacy, that have meaning for you?
5. Time is a construct. It is an essential one, it helps us live, it helps us plan, it helps us be productive and resourceful. But, it can be unhelpful. You are not on anyone’s timeframe, you’re not behind, or ahead, you are where you are.
6. There isn’t a perfect time. There can be a good time to do something, and a not so wise time to do something, but there most definitely isn’t a perfect one. You will never feel fully ready, fully sure, or that you have all you need.
So, in the words of the great Gandalf, all we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us. This is a rather overwhelming thought to be honest, so let’s just think about today.
What are you going to do with the time that has been given to you today?
What is the most important thing for you to do today?
What can wait?
I hope that today you can have some moments where you feel like time is less of a tyrant, and more of a teacher.
P.S. This is an oldie but a goodie https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k4EUTMPuvHo
P.P.S Love it or hate it, did you know that Coldplay’s Chris Martin is connected to the introduction of Daylight Saving? William Willett who led the campaign for its introduction, is his great-great-grandfather, and apparently his motivation was primarily rooted in cut-short games of golf! If you want to read more about why we tinker with time, you can do so here … https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20160310-the-builder-who-changed-how-the-world-keeps-time