So I have sometimes found myself crippled in the past with a sense of being overwhelmed. I have a lot of things I want to accomplish, but I only have a few free hours in a typical day to work on them. The rest of my time is consumed by more immediately pressing matters (work, feeding myself, cleaning, seeing the odd friend (well, most of my friends are odd)).
Iaido/jodo/kendo/budo have really helped demonstrate to me the value of incremental progress. You really don't need to do things in huge blocks, you can spend a couple hours a week (hard to get, I know) and build up. But where to find those couple hours?
Something I've been working on is looking at time not in large blocks but a collection of many small ones. "I only have 2 hours between work and kendo; I can't do anything." ACTUALLY, I have 120 minutes between the two. I can do three German lessons in 7 minutes. That leaves 113. It takes me 13 minutes to bike from work to home, and 15 to bike from home to the Athletics Centre. And that's free exercise. I still have 85 minutes. I can make and eat a satisfying meal in 25 minutes. That leaves me with 60 minutes to spend on other things. "That's only an hour!" That's actually 3600 seconds. Seconds go by quickly. But not sooo quickly. Count to 60 and tell me if you don't get bored before you're done. (Don't actually if you already see my point.) If you did, you'd still have 3540 seconds left. You can fit a lot into even 60 seconds. You can wash 3 dishes. If you have 10 dishes in the sink, you can get that done in 4 minutes (I've timed myself), leaving 3360 seconds left. I could read 10 pages of a book (at my modest speed) in 20 minutes (1200 seconds) and have read a book in a month. (Better than one a semester which I was averaging back when I was looking for large chunks of time.) How long does it take to do 30 push ups? 70 seconds for me. 30 sit ups? 110 seconds. Whoa!
Suddenly, with just an hour of time in a day, I feel RICH with so many things to spend it on.
Of course, some projects want large blocks of time. It's hard to play a video game like the Legen of Zelda in chunks less than 40-60 minutes long. It's hard to go on a leisurely walk in fewer than 30 minutes. It's hard to make good progress in writing software in fewer than 30 minute blocks. Some tasks have a start-up cost and have a focus-reward (made that up just now).
(Also, did you know that at least on Fedora Linux 20, Firefox 33, in Blogger's Compose editor, pressing ctrl-\ causes a Select All function? Whoa!)
But still, I am benefiting from seeing time less as "so little" but instead as "so much". I think changes in my perception of time have occurred ... over time. When I was young, I counted almost every second, and an hour seemed interminably long. Now if I think about an hour, it seems so short. More tasks of mine are more complex. I have more swimming in my head. I get 'bogged down' by the complexity of life I now recognise around me. Intentionally reverting to 'an hour is a looong time' also gives me more time for crafts, just like when I was a wee human.
That, and the advice to a friend 4 years ago to not worry about waking up at 1PM and feeling like you've lost the day, but instead just count hours from when you wake up. It's not 5 hours into a day, it's 0 hours. At 1PM or at 7AM, you start at 0 and then count one hour, two hour, (or 120 minutes (or 7200 seconds :D)). I hadn't thought about it at that time, but I haven't despaired about when I wake up in a long time.
Perceptions of time, crippling or enhancing productivity.
(For a later post, what's up with productivity? Why not more leisure? Also, stereotypes of "laziness" in European countries: the bitter north versus the Mediterranean south)
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