Time. Humans are fascinated with the concept. We wear strange devices on our hands or carry around brick-looking ones that keep telling us what time it is. Some of us check the time (read: ‘your phone’) over 96 times a day.
This week, let’s explore your relationship with time - because chances are - it is not a healthy one.
⚡ The Action
Have a weekend without ‘time’. No looking at your phone, no checking your home clock, no going to places with clocks. Time will not exist for a weekend (or more).
🤔 The Why
We’ve all heard the benefits of being present in the moment (If you haven’t - check out the aptly but dismally named book: The Power Of Now). It works, because, well - you can’t be in any other moment, and if you realize it - it gives you a lot of strength to change what is happening to you.
What we don’t talk enough about are all the other pitfalls of time:
Using it as an excuse: "‘It was better to be born in X period”.
Thinking it’s infinite: “I can always do this in a year”.
Thinking there isn’t enough time: “I won’t make it, why bother”.
Using the possible bad futures as an excuse: “Something might happen in the future, so I won’t even start”.
Believing that ‘actual time’ is more important than ‘psychological’ time.
In essence, there is a lot to be said about our relationship with time, but to explore it - the best place to start is to stop time in its tracks.
🧐 The How - Full Version
This weekend, all you have to do is to eliminate ALL possible sources of time.
This includes but is not limited to:
Disabling the time on all of your devices: phones, tablets, computers (Pro-tip: don’t use them at all this weekend).
Not using any alarms (Except kids, loud neighbors, and nature).
Removing, taping over, covering any sources of time in your home (e.g. dishwasher, oven, wall-clocks, etc).
Not going anywhere that has a clock (This might limit your options rather drastically).
Then, all you have to do is wait, and see how you and your body behave in this ‘timeless’ environment. Take notes, read books, do actions that you have missed.
As a fun experiment, you could pass notes to your partner or a friend - predicting what you thought the time was at a certain point. Ask them on Monday how much you were off by.
🐨 Lazy Mode
To have any effect at all, I would assume that you would need to do this for at least 24 hours. Then again - this is really great for lazy people, as you can now excuse yourself from most responsibilities.
💖 Personal Application
When I did this during a solo retreat of mine - my mind was blown. Not only was I constantly off (as I later found out) by 2-3 hours from what the time really was - I suddenly felt like I had at least double the amount of time each day. My days mattered.
It opened up my understanding of ‘psychological time’. That is to say - time is not just a number on a clock, but it is also a memory and an emotion. If you had an extremely positive moment that took only 60 seconds of ‘real-time’, such as experiencing the moment of birth of your child, the memory will far outweigh the monotonous commutes to work that take 2-3 hours daily for the vast majority of your life. Thus - quality time is more important than quantity time, and quality time is usually best experienced without counting time. Hence the name.
This experience may show you just how uncertain, creative, fluid, and unpredictable our actual relationship to time is, and why our fast-paced, time-centric world is actually guiding us away from ‘true time’.
💸 Professional Application
Running a business, or working in one is basically a rat race. Deadlines upon deadlines, tasks piled by the thousands, every second - measured.
Without taking a step back - you will never make any real progress. Famously Steve Jobs made it a rule, to have over 50% of his time - unscheduled (Hopefully this fact is true).
Successful entrepreneurs play with time. They bring the future closer, they move the past, they can transform the present. For them - time is a fluid.
By giving up on time, you might just experience it for yourself.
📱 The Meetup - 26th of June
This week’s meetup is canceled, as I am participating in an amazing seminar on self-development and relationships with oneself. The next one will be on the 26th of June. If you want to join - apply here. It is currently in invite-only mode.