Wisdom is the power to put our time and our knowledge to the proper use.
Thomas J. Watson
I’ve just very recently joined the 21st century, and purchased a new cell phone. This will apparently revolutionize my life, make me more organized, and give me more free time than I know what to do with. Or so the very helpful sales clerk assured me. Thus far, while I am certainly enjoying my new device (especially the e-book app) I’m not feeling terribly revolutionized, organized nor do I seem to have any more free time. So what am I doing wrong?
I will say that having the new phone has saved me time in that I’m no longer hunting for the scrap of paper I used to jot down my appointment time, and I am certainly spending less time searching for a pen and a fresh bit of paper for my shopping list. I now know why people become addicted to texting, too. But when I review my texts, most of them seem to be connected to time, as well – what time I’ll be getting somewhere, someone is running late, what time the show starts…modern life sometimes feels like a never-ending game of Beat the Clock.
Was there ever a point in history when we weren’t so aware of time? Maybe back in the days before electricity, there might have been a different sense of time. Certainly life was harder then, no question, and simpler in some respects, with no need to continuously update your Facebook status or monitor a Twitter feed, but the issue of time and the lack of it still seems to have been a problem.
After reading Roughing It in the Bush, I found myself completely in awe of Susanna Moodie, and very grateful for my modern life, even with the time pressures.
Claudia Hammond’s book Time Warped is a fascinating look at the way our minds perceive time. We’ve all experienced the traffic jam that seems to last for hours, or the wonderful vacation that speeds by in moments. While it often feels as though we have no control over the flow of time, the author describes how we can change our perception of the passage of time, and how to use time more efficiently.
Given that we all have the same number of hours and minutes in a day, what can we do to make the most of the time? There are a number of books that will help you manage and organize your time, the trouble is finding the time to read them. The ones I’ve found most helpful are Maximize Your Time by Ronald Bracey and 168 Hours: You have more time than you Think by Laura Vanderkam. Both of these books are fun reads, and I found valuable tips and tricks that made me feel as though I really discovered more time in my day.
Taking the long view, how much does it really matter what I get done in a day? The universe still seems to be ticking along and moving forward as it should…or is it? Perhaps time is moving backwards, or standing still while I just think that it’s moving forward, or perhaps our understanding of time itself is an illusion. Time Reborn: from the crisis of physics to the future of the universe explores all of these concepts. This book took me a long while to read, and I’m still trying to figure it all out, but it’s well worth the investment of my time.
So, at the end of the day, I have to conclude that while my lovely new toy may not have totally transformed me into a model of efficiency, it has given me a new awareness of time, and how I use it. So maybe time really is on my side, after all.