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Links 1 through 10 of 21 by Just Mohit tagged time

Busyness serves as a kind of existential reassurance, a hedge against emptiness

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If someone asked me to prove my undying love for my daughter, I would tell him that I have pretended to be over fifty different Pokémon characters. I have watched an entire Pokémon Advanced Battle DVD, which is essentially like roasting your soul on a spit...
Lately, though, perhaps because at age 41 I'd begun feeling less like the captain of my life and more like its deckhand, I'd started wondering if there was someone out there who embodies not your worst self, but your freest one—a person who encapsulates everything you've ever dreamed of becoming. Let's call him your Cooler Self. All those dreams that got lost along the way, the ones that were casualties of chance or duty or cowardice: There's a "you" out there—a mountain climber or war photographer or race-car driver—who brought them to fruition...
"Still, I can't help thinking what else I might have accomplished if I hadn't had children. Like I'm wasting my talent or something."
"There's always something else you could be doing," he said. "We're wasting a life as we speak."...
There's a reason we drift toward attachment, I think, as we get older— attachment to people, to work, to things. As death moves closer, we try our hardest to dig in. We pound in the stakes so that our tents don't blow away. Still, it makes sense to me that the perceptions we once had of ourselves would be hard to cast off. We miss our youth, our freedom—which is not the same thing as wanting it back. We may think it is, but it's not...
When I got home, my daughter was still awake, and I kissed her good night and sat on her bed longer than usual. I told her a story from my childhood, one of her favorites, and she corrected me when I got a detail wrong. She knew the story better than I did. Miniature plastic planets hung from her ceiling, meant to mimic the geography of the solar system. A few of them—like Saturn—had fallen off, but the earth still dangled above us, hanging literally by a thread. If someone told me I was going to die tomorrow, I thought, I would still want to be sitting

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One of those whatevers is us. Time is what we measure, not just with our external Einsteinian clocks but with our internal Roennbergian ones: heart rate, hunger, breath, sleep. Like almost every other species, we humans are a kind of mobile timepiece. Unlike other species, we’ve overrun our niche in the temporal ecosystem, just as we have in the physical one. We move as freely from time to time as we do from place to place—working nights, jetting three hours into the past for a long weekend. That remarkable temporal suppleness, like our adaptiveness more generally, both rewards and imperils us. We live in all time but, unlike De Mairan’s mimosa, we live uneasily in it, struggling to balance our inner self with the demands of nature and each other.

And we live uneasily in time in another way, too. Time is what all creatures measure, but humans are the creatures who measure time. That is a remarkable but not a comfortable ability. If human culture is delightful but disrupts our sleep, the same could be said of human consciousness. It’s wonderful, thank heavens for it—and yet we are the only species kept awake at night by the thought that time is passing, that its quantity, for us, is finite. This is the fundamental pathos of being, in effect, a conscious Swatch. Our internal clocks do what we cannot: keep time

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Reading is an act of contemplation, perhaps the only act in which we allow ourselves to merge with the consciousness of another human being. We possess the books we read...but they possess us also, filling us with thoughts and observations, asking us to make them part of ourselves...books enlarge us by giving direct access to experiences not our own. In order for this to work, however, we need a certain type of silence, an ability to filter out the noise.
Such a state is increasingly elusive in our over-networked culture, in which every rumor and mundanity is blogged and tweeted. Today, it seems it is not contemplation we seek but an odd sort of distraction masquerading as being in the know. Why? Because of the illusion that illumination is based on speed, that it is more important to react than to think...
Here we have my reading problem in a nutshell, for books insist we take the opposite position, that we immerse, slow down.

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People rarely schedule working time. And when they do it’s viewed as second-tier time. It’s interruptible. Meetings trump working time...
Why are you letting other people put things on your calendar? The idea of a calendar as a public fire hydrant for colleagues to mark is ludicrous. The time displayed on your calendar belongs to you, not to them. It’s been allocated to you to complete tasks. Why are you taking time away from your coding project to go to a meeting that someone you barely know added you to without asking and without the decency to have submitted an agenda?
Start saying no.
Why do you feel like others have more of a right to your time than you do? The time is yours...
“I’m adding a meeting” should really be “I’m subtracting an hour from your life.”

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There’s nothing wrong with deciding that when it really comes down to it, you want to do things other than writing. It’s even okay to start writing, work at it a while, and decide it’s not for you. Being a writer isn’t some grand, mystical state of being, it just means you put words together to amuse people, most of all yourself. There’s no more shame in not being a writer than there is in not being a painter, or a botanist, or a real estate agent...
But if you want to be a writer, than be a writer, for god’s sake. It’s not that hard, and it doesn’t require that much effort on a day to day basis. Find the time or make the time. Sit down, shut up and put your words together. Work at it and keep working at it. And if you need inspiration, think of yourself on your deathbed saying “well, at least I watched a lot of TV.” If saying such a thing as your life ebbs away fills you with existential horror, well, then. I think you know what to do.

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Professor Philip Zimbardo conveys how our individual perspectives of time affect our work, health and well-being. Time influences who we are as a person, how we view relationships and how we act in the world.

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In most people's minds, spending money on luxuries sets off alarms that making investments doesn't...Investing bypasses those alarms...
The solution is to develop new alarms. This can be a tricky business, because while the alarms that prevent you from overspending are so basic that they may even be in our DNA, the ones that prevent you from making bad investments have to be learned, and are sometimes fairly counterintuitive.
A few days ago I realized something surprising: the situation with time is much the same as with money. The most dangerous way to lose time is not to spend it having fun, but to spend it doing fake work. When you spend time having fun, you know you're being self-indulgent. Alarms start to go off fairly quickly...
And yet I've definitely had days...at the end of which, if I asked myself what I got done that day, the answer would have been: basically, nothing...
With time, as with money, avoiding pleasure is no longer enough to protect you.

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people who are always busy are time poor...They are failing to either a) be effective with their time b) don’t know what they’re trying to effect, so they scramble away at trying to optimize for everything, which leads to optimizing nothing.
...people who truly have control over time have...a sense of priorities that drives their use of time and can shift away from the specific ordinary work that’s easy to justify, in favor of the more ethereal, deeper things that are harder to justify. They protect their time from trivia and idiocy. These people are time rich. They provide themselves with a surplus of time. They might seem to idle, or to relax, more often then the rest, but that may be a sign of their mastery not their incompetence...
It’s the ability to pause, to reflect, and relax, to let the mind wander, that’s perhaps the true sign of time mastery, for when the mind returns it’s often sharper and more efficient, but most important perhaps, happier than it was before.

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Certainly for any creative field, which many knowledge worker type companies claim they are, time away from work is where much creative growth happens. It’s away from work people have new experiences, see new places, ask new questions, and learn to appreciate the life they’re working so hard to get.When people return from vacation they are better people, not worse...And they bring new energy, perspective and ideas back into the company, all things that are essentially priceless.

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