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Why This Obsession With Time?

How often do you hear yourself saying, “I don’t have time for that”? And those days when you feel like you’re battling against every tick tock of the clock in a race to get stuff done. And then there’s other times when time seems to stand still or even expand for you and you get so much done in the little space available.

We always seem to be trying to achieve something; we work harder, longer, faster to accomplish something better than what we already have. Perhaps you are saving for a bigger house, a new car, a family holiday or even a nice meal out with friends. All these can bring stress and worry and keep us chasing after that clock that just keeps on ticking.

I was recently doing some research on how different people process time and was reminded of the concept of “In-time” and “through-time” people.

When I am working, I am a through-time person; I have a diary full of appointments and phone calls that have been pre-arranged. It’s important for me to meet the obligations I have committed to with others. I have work that needs to be completed because I need to get onto other work that needs to be completed after that. I am organised, structured and productive and this serves my clients and myself well.

When I am off work, I am an in-time person, often rarely really knowing what the time is, because it doesn’t matter what time it is. I can be where I am, for as long as I want and if something else comes up, I can spent some time on that too. If I am way from home, I just have to keep a check on which day it is so I don’t miss my flight home!! I find a wonderful freedom without the usual frequent reference to the clock.

Now the fun begins when you see interaction between two people, one in a desperate hurry to get from one place to the next and stay on schedule, and the other quite happy with where they are in that moment and uncaring about what may come next. Watch your friends, your family and your colleagues and have some fun seeing which type they are displaying.

And as for time, do we take it too seriously?

Sociologist Dr. Anthony Campolo conducted a study in which 50 people over the age of 90 were asked to reflect upon their lives. Each study participant was asked one simple question:

“If you had it to do over again, what would you do differently?”
The three top replies were:

  1. “I would reflect more”
  2. “I would risk more”.
  3. “I would do more to leave a legacy”

I would like to add a fourth one, I think we need to laugh more, because we don’t do it enough and it has fantastic health and social benefits.

Interestingly people said that on reflection, rather than being grateful for what they had achieved, they regretted what they hadn’t. So my question is,

“What have you always thought about doing but haven’t got round to it yet?”

Our most precious times are usually those spent with loved ones; our family, our friends and our animals. Let’s make some time to do what we want to do, spend time with people you care about, people whose company you enjoy, people who make you feel good when you’re around them. And enjoy that time without worrying about what else you could or should be doing.

Many years from now, when you’re sitting on your a rocking chair, with your blanket over your knee, watching the sun go down, as you reflect on those great times in your life, you’ll feel gratitude, love and respect for everyone and everything that you made time for.

I would like to leave you with words from John Denver in his song, “Friends With You”,

“What a friend we have in time.
Gives us children, makes us wine.

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