We can’t function without the concept of time, it’s all-encompassing, embedded in every aspect of our lives. But we can try harnessing it like a tool.
“If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.” -Bruce Lee
The way we perceive and use time is the most fundamental intangible element in intelligent life. In terms of physics, “time” doesn’t actually exist yet it is vividly recognized by our consciousness.
Everything in our visible universe decay as a course of natural, time-based processes. Not just the aging of life or the wear and tear of inanimate things, but also each and every event that occurs.
We experience the succession of these events chronologically, every moment of our existence from event to event and action to action. While time doesn’t exist, it’s actually an integral part of our being.
Time runs our lives. Time gives our lives direction. Time lets us plan and strategize what to do in the next 30 seconds, the next 30 days, the next 30 years and so on. We need this to make our lives functional.
In other words, we are time’s bitch.
Even if somehow you were able to function without “using” time, everyone in the world does, including the actual world. So again, we need time – but that doesn’t mean we have to be its bitch, at least not all the time.
“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” -Barack Obama
The science and art of time management and temporal awareness is a general strategy an operative must master and continuously exercise.
It’s not just because it’s one of the most demanding jobs there is, but because improvisation, expeditiousness and punctuality are paramount – for operational effectiveness and life expectancy.
Operative in the field or civilian in normal life, exercising conscious awareness of temporality and your perception of time can increase your core effectiveness, efficiency and overall productivity.
The methodologies to apply this strategy:
Start timing everything, all your action no matter how insignificant. Not all the time but enough to get a general idea of how much time each little to big actions you make take. With these new found data, you can better course your actions and ultimately, time. [Further reading]
Think and move forwardly. “Early is On Time, On Time is Late and Late is Death.” It means being ahead of the curve, in a temporal sense at least. It’s not always possible, but to see beyond the present and immediate future so you can position yourself accordingly.
Delineate time limits to complete tasks that don’t specifically need to be completed at a specific time or deadline; instead of “I need to get this done by 10pm”, do “I’ll work on this for until 10pm”.
Never assume you’ll have plenty of time, but always keep in mind that you may not have enough of it.
Never set your clock ahead of the actual time in an attempt to motivate your punctuality. This is bad technique that leads to the mind thinking all clocks are ahead and destabilizes your perception of universal time.
Don’t stand still, don’t live a life stagnant. If you’re not moving forward in life, you’re going backwards. Because time is ever moving and you’re ever aging, not moving along with it keeps you behind.
Mastering time is not a specific skill but a habit, a behavioural and perception enhancement.
In any case, time owns us and we need it. So respect it and we can better use it to our advantage.
Following Einstein’s theory of relativity; the faster you operate, the slower time moves – the more time you have and the better you can operate.
“Time and tide wait for none.” -St. Marher