Of all time management activities, this may be the one to rule them all.
If you use this simple concept, you’ll gain greater control over the single biggest point of leverage in time management – your perception of time or inner time.
Once you get a handle on inner time, you will no longer be a victim of circumstance. This means no more stress and pressure related to how much time you have. And guess what? Stress and pressure are intimately related to your perception of time!
Will you try the time management activity that rules them all?
Here are the simple concepts and simple, step-by-step instructions.
Time Management Activity ~ Simple Concepts
1. There are two kinds of time:
- Inner time, which is your perception of time passing.
- Outer time, which is the actual passage of time according to a clock or calendar.
Inner time is subjective ~ entirely based on factors in your psyche which are not easy (and perhaps impossible) to corroborate with others.
Outer time is objective ~ measurable and easily corroborated by others.
2. Stress and inner time are intimately connected.
Time management activities that ignore the relationship between stress and inner time are missing the most important time management tool! They bypass the single greatest source of leverage you have.
Here’s how inner time and stress and connected:
The more time you perceive to be at your disposal, the less stress and pressure you will experience.
The less time you perceive to be at your disposal, the more stress and pressure you will experience.
Try this thought experiment with two imaginary people:
Person #1 – let’s call him Ulrich – has run out of time according to the clock. He has a critical project due and there is absolutely no time left. The project isn’t finished and simply cannot be. Too late! All else being equal, how much stress is Ulrich feeling?
A ton, right? He might even be panicking.
Person #2 – we’ll call her Jocelyn – has also run out of time according to the clock. Critical project and it’s too late for Jocelyn!
The difference with Jocelyn is that she believes she has tons of time left to complete the project. Let’s say she’s simply mistaken about the deadline. In her mind, time is on her side. All else being equal, how stressed do you suppose Jocelyn is in this scenario?
Not so much, right? She’s chillin’ – no worries at all.
Bottom line: Regardless of how much outer time you have, inner time has more influence over your stress (and thus your performance, health, and quality of life). Time management activities should account for this powerful point of leverage!
Thus, the Stress~Time Continuum.
On the one side of the continuum, you have infinite time (according to inner time) and on the other no time (again, inner time). With the perception of infinite time comes no stress or pressure. When you’re out of time – stress, pressure and panic come in waves.
You can perceive time in three ways, according to inner time.
In sync with outer time: Perceiving time more or less in sync with a clock.
Fast time: Speeding up inner time so that it feels like more time has passed than has actually passed.
Slow time: Slowing down inner time so that it feels like less time has passed than has actually passed.
How Fast and Slow Time Relate to Common Things People Say
Someone says: This is taking forever – so frustrating!
Interpretation: I am speeding up time in my mind so that it feels like much more time is passing than is actually passing. It feels like a lot of time has passed and that I have less time at my disposal, when in reality, I am speeding up inner time. This is creating pressure and stress.
Someone says: It’s noon already? Wow! Time flies when you’re having fun!
Interpretation: Doing something I love, inner time has slowed down so that it feels like less time has passed than has actually passed. It feels like only a few minutes have passed, when in reality an hour of clock time has gone by. Time appears to fly when I slow down inner time. Outer time flies by comparison.
When you speed up inner time, it feels like you have less of it available and might be surprised when you learn that outer time is going by more slowly.
When you slow down inner time, it feels like you have more time available and might be surprised to learn that actual time is passing more quickly.