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It is the fundamental marker of our existence, the fourth dimension by which all others have meaning. Time is the barometer of our existence, all things have meaning through time. In the last year I’ve come to many realisations about time, and its nature given our varying and subjective perceptions of it.

The first is that one never ever has ‘spare time’. In fact the whole concept of spare time is a delusion, perpetrated by our desire to do more in less, to cram events into less linear space. In fact the only way one has time is when one makes it. You have to consciously make the effort to block out time for anything that you want to achieve. It takes a measure of foresight and planning, and a commitment beyond the notional, but it is the only way to ‘have’ the time to accomplish anything that you want to do.

The second is that there are a few laws that time does obey, and the most fundamental is oddly enough Jones’ Law of Shelf Space. Jones’ law with regard to books says that books expand to fill up all the available shelf space. The same in fact is true of time. The time a task takes is directly proportional to the time that you allocate to it. The great thing is that this is a process you can control. If you decide that something that can be done in 15 minutes normally, is decided by you that it can be done in 10, then you will find that you can often manage to do just that. Start applying this to everything and suddenly things start getting done a lot faster then you would have ever thought that it would.

The third thing is that there are a million ways to waste time, but none, not a one, that will let you bring even a second of it back. This means that each second, each millisecond of time is immensely precious, and to squander one even is something that you ought to be profoundly aware of. You have perhaps a 100 years on this earth, and you will miss so much, see so little, experience a miniscule amount of what the world will offer. Take advantage of it all before it passes you by. The corolllory to that of course is that time you enjoy wasting isn’t wasted. Not everything needs to be serious and not all life is to be experienced to the max. Sometimes the best experiences are those where your’e just free to be yourself, with people that let you do that. It’s nothing new, its not usually too exciting, but it does deliver a powerful sublimal joy that transcends the few minutes or hours you can spend with them, and leaves lasting memmories that one can cherish for a lifetime, and perhaps beyond.

In essence this is the true encapsulation of time. Time is a container by which to direct, live and drive yourself, but it is not the purpose nor the goal. It can help you realise the goal, but its just another factor in the life lived well.


One Comment

    • Dom
    • Posted August 31, 2005 at 1:16 pm
    • Permalink

    Great analysis! I particular like the third point. It seems to me the notion of “wasting time” has more to do with life than time itself. You waste time if your actions do not contribute to goals you want to achieve in your life. Change your goals, and the same set of actions is not considered a “waste of time”.
    It is obvious I am not making effective use of my time, since I am reading this entry 22 days after it was posted. 😉

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