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Our perception of time shapes our productivity

Mar. 23, 2018
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The way we perceive time is related to the value we associate with time. A lot of our productivity and procrastination comes from our view of what time is and how much of it we have.

When we procrastinate, it indicates that we believe there is more time to do the task. We convince ourselves there is another period of time during which the task can be done. Conversely, cramming occurs when we realize we are short on time. It’s the most productive time for some people. When there is a deadline, or something that needs to be done, we go straight into action. 

When we prioritize, this indicates that we realize time can be split. Dividing time relates to being aware of possessing a set amount of time. This means there is an idea of time beginning and stopping. People with priorities have no problem saying “no.” The value placed on their time is not altered by the plans of others. In contrast, not prioritizing means we are aimless and easily swayed.

After watching the Tupac biopic All Eyez On Me, I watched interviews with Tupac and people who’d been close to him. Of all the articulate, deep, funny, and wildly logical things said, I found it interesting that “time” was a strong theme in Tupac’s life. He had a message and vision. Late in his career, he felt that he didn’t have enough time left. People around him could see his focus and passion, despite how he was depicted in the media. His desire to finish a set goal, and his concern of “time,” boosted his work ethic. Tupac died in September of 1996 at the age of 25. We may never know the fullness of his vision, but we are able to enjoy the tremendous amount of work he created during his career.

Our perception of time can work for us or against us. Your perception can literally mold your life. Here are general perceptions and ways to adjust your view:

“Short and fleeting.” Everything is quick. You do an action, it’s over, and then you move on. You tend not to dwell on anything. In your eyes, time will continue on it’s own anyway.

Try to live in the moment. Don’t be so quick to move on. Each moment is once in a lifetime. No moment is exactly the same, because you live every day once.

“Racing by.” You always feel like you’re a step behind. There is no way for you to regulate your time. You try to stay on top of your life, but you keep tripping. You feel like you’re playing catch-up.

Try to slow down. You may be behind due to being all over the place. Get yourself together, and then continue. If you move on as you are stumbling and disorganized, it makes it more difficult to catch up.

“Long and Dragging.” You are not active. You aren’t doing what you would like to do. Since you are not living a life true to yourself, you are always waiting.

Try to find what makes life enjoyable for you. Your time deserves to be spent creating happy moments. Involve yourself in your interests. Participate in life.

“A Wave.” So, time is just an entity in which you harmoniously float. You are guided by the flow. You may be sensitive to vibes and energy.

Try to remain grounded. Trusting your guts is great. However, you still need to be grounded in your decisions of how you spend your time. Flow with the current, but acknowledge a shift in direction.

 Use your time wisely. You are continuing forward, not in reverse! No one should wake up one day wondering how they could let all the time that was once ahead of them become a trail of empty memories. Live your life.