As we step into the New Year there is an urgency to set goals, to get something done, to start something new. As a Graphic Designer, I live by client deadlines. Any personal deadlines come after my clients’ so I am always going into the New Year with left-overs. Consequently this blog post is a bit late!

Where does the time go?

At Christmas and New Year we get to catch-up with friends and family. And this year just about everyone I know has said that they ‘don’t know where the time goes’. So I thought I’d do some Googling…

Time may seem to pass more quickly due to the ‘oddball’ effect, which is where new experiences feel like they take longer because we find them more stimulating. So as we grow in experience and do more and more familiar activities, they seem to take less and less time because we are used to doing them [on autopilot!]. Think of how long journeys used to take when you were young – ‘are we there yet?!’

It may also be due to the fact that our heads are travelling faster than our feet as they are nearer the earth. Or that time passes slower the faster you move, and everyone is always rushing about – OK scrub that one as no one can do light speed yet.

The time is now

Or, is it? Einstein and physics say there is no ‘now’, ‘there is no distinction between past, present and future, it is an illusion, however convincing’. But that doesn’t stop us aging, nor change the time of the next train. And we can’t reverse time on account of the second law of Thermodynamics – something that has been mixed – cannot be unmixed. [I’m hoping that is wrong, because I really want a Tardis one day…]

Time is of our essence

Time is a huge factor in our lives, whether we have a ‘now’ or not. We are continually using it, measuring it, making more of it – and, running out of it. And our relationship with time can depend a lot on where we live. Western cultures tend to view time as linear and limited, so we hang on milestones and deadlines and gauge success on meeting them. In other cultures, time is cyclical and endless, with the emphasis on harmony and getting something done right rather than just done. So deadlines and milestones become targets that respect all the stakeholders. All cultures however, agree that time=money, so spend your time wisely!

Time marches on

But, it might have marched back if mechanical clocks had been invented in the Southern hemisphere. Clocks would then run anti-clockwise because ‘clockwise’ follows the tracking of the sun on a sundial in the north, where the sun rises in the east. I wonder if clocks running anti-clockwise may have made us think differently? Would back be forward? What impact might that have had?

In a bid to make my 2017 go more slowly I shall:

  • have targets not deadlines
  • take time to think differently – to turn an idea over and look at it from a completely different viewpoint
  • spend my time doing more exciting things!

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