It's not about time

25 Jun 2018

It's not about time

Have you noticed, as I and many other people have, that time, on occasion, seems to go faster, or to just drag. Having recently delivered a presentation around this topic I thought it would make a good article, please let me know what you think after you have read this.

I, like most people, have experienced these sensations, time running away and time seemingly on a go-slow. The reality is that it is a constant. It cannot be a variable and it will pass at the same rate, without variation. It is governed by nature, by physics and runs at the same rate for all of us, all around the world.

So how come you and I have experienced these moments? Well, I have a theory that it is NOT about time, but rather about you and me, or us. About how we are engaged, what we are doing and how we are reacting to the immediate stimulation that we are receiving.

For example, a football fan whose team is winning by a clear margin will have a far different perception of the passage of the 90 minutes of the game, compared with the fan whose team is a goal down, having all the possession of the ball and yet failing to score.

Among personal experiences I can recall that:

  • Examinations where I could easily give full answers seemed to pass far more quickly than those where I would struggle with solutions. (I would add there were far more of the latter than the former!)
  • Visits to elderly relatives when a child, on Boxing Day, with only a colouring book and quiet toys, would seem to last far longer than the 2 hours they did.
  • Two weeks summer holiday would seem to pass incredibly quicker, as did the whole of the school holidays, than the weeks actually at school. (I did not enjoy school!)
  • Watching films, plays, TV where the subject matter is of no real interest, are poorly acted, or badly produced seem to last forever and yet subjects of interest, well acted or well-produced items appear to pass in the blink of an eye. (I would cite the film Gandhi here, I went under sufferance and yet despite its length in minutes, it was over in a flash as it engaged me through quality.)

I could present many more cases, and certainly, I have found meetings where I struggle to hold focus can be transformed by looking for the items that actually are of genuine interest to me. From all this, I would put it to you that time, although not a variable, will appear to go faster when you are actively engaged in what you are doing. Be that active participation, active listening, or active passion.

So remember next time you want to try and “Manage Time” that it is a force of nature that it will do what it has always done at the speed it has always done it and when it is ready to do it. It will not be managed, caged, controlled; only measured!!

To end then, if you want to use time, you have to master your actions and mindset in regard to your reaction to it. That’s an action on you, and me, that must be followed through with passion.

Until next time, remember that it takes Passion and Actions for you to make things happen.