How to Self-Manage by Challenging the Linear Concept of Time

I remember that I wondered about time and space for the first time when I was a kid of about 4 or 5 falling asleep in my bed at night. Such a young age to wonder about so serious things! I thought – time and space are both so infinite! But still, I was both fascinated and perplexed when I started to see the material nature of things.

I understood dimensions, measures, endings and beginnings. I was more confused by time. I thought I had space at least partially figured out. I am standing here, at this spot as a referent point. Everything around me starts from there and spreads around. My bed, my room, my house, my town, my country and everything else spread around in concentric circles.

At least I knew where I was in reference to everything else.

“I am here.”

But time – time eluded me. First class starts at 7 a.m. It ends at 1 p.m. The school year starts in September and it ends in June. I was born in the seventies. The World War I was from 1914 to 1918. Dinosaurs lived… Okay, I don’t exactly remember when dinosaurs lived, but I knew it was a very, very long time ago.

But then… What about before the dinosaurs?

And what about before ‘before dinosaurs’?

And what about before ‘before ‘before dinosaurs’’?

When did the first dinosaurs show up? There should always be a ‘before’ before the last one and an ‘after’ just after the last ‘after’, right?

This was an enigma. My little head struggled to make sense of the time. I just knew that there was something missing to the notion of time that was explained to me by grown-ups.

How to Get the Grip of Psychological Time

At that time, it was just too much for me. That is why I somehow forgot about it and dropped it until many years later. The same enigma came about to puzzle me when I started understanding the concept of psychological time.

The short Einsteinian glimpse into space and time relativity I learned at high school made some sense. At that time, it brought some new-found satisfaction to my curiosity-hungry mind.

But time, such as it is…

watchfulness-woman-smartphone
Photo credit: Foter.com

It started to make the most sense when I learned that it just doesn’t exist. Calendar time does exist. It is an agreed concept. But time as ‘past, present and future’ or time that moves from something that ‘was’ to something that will ‘be’ was an illusion.

Time is convenient to make our lives simpler, to organize our lives and to explain the change. Humans love to explain change with the concept of time. They like to put activities in nice little slots they call minutes, hours, days, months.

Time passes, but only in cycles and seasons. Everything changes. It helps us to work, travel and live. It makes us feel powerful. It makes us feel in control. It is much easier if we know that we have taken care of something.

But still, the sense of linear time people have today is a psychological concept.

What actually changes is not time, but energy. It is people who change, and that is the terrifying concept that makes people choose the concept of time over the concept of energy.

Tricks Our Minds Play With Us

If we accept that time doesn’t exist, or, as spiritual truth tellers like to spell it out to us: ‘The time is always now’ – we become much more responsible with our personal time. We value it more. We understand that time is and will be, even if we don’t exist anymore. So, the main question here is not about the limits of time, but about the limits of the human life.

If we start to look at time in this way, what matters is our internal clock than the one agreed by social convention. The social comparison becomes pointless. We can’t justify slowdowns, procrastination and fruitless behavior over time.

“Time will tell.”

“Everything becomes easier in time.”

“Time heals all wounds.”

It’s much easier giving so much power to something outside of ourselves.

It’s difficult to take full responsibility for what we do with the time we have at our hands, and not concentrate on what the time does to us.

10 Questions to Ask Yourself to Learn the Value of Your Personal Time

To learn the value of your personal time, think of it by answering the following questions:

  • Can you tell what brings instant gratification and what is good for future long-term benefits?
  • Do you carry a lot of grief or anger within you?
  • Do you know how to enjoy daily activities?
  • Can you create a daily agenda with time slots for your favorite activities?
  • How often you choose ‘happiness of what might be’ over the ‘happiness of what is’?
  • Are you grateful for today?
  • Can you say that you are enough?
  • Can you feel whole in the ‘nowness’?
  • Can you sense the richness of the well of life within?
  • Are you satiated?

Oh, and yes. No one is perfect. There is only one time-wasting sin I can think of that makes it all worthwhile. Daydreaming. Sometimes, you are allowed to be a time-sinner. A time-waster. If you choose to do so, daydream.

Photo credit: gfpeck / Foter / CC BY-ND

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