Feeling Time Deprived on Memorial Day? Time is In Our Hands

Since Memorial Day marks the beginning of the summer season here in the U.S what could be a better topic than Time, the perceived lack of it and the pressures it brings into our daily life.
A day like today should be a chance for idle time might instead turn into cramming as much activity as one can as we feel time is fleeting.
What got me down that path was reading Time in our hands by Stephen Cave (in this week-end's Financial Times).
This review of three books on the topic of time pressures leads to a reflection on how we can bring back balance and sanity to our days.
Part of the problem is too much choice. With choice comes responsibility and the need to make more and more decisions when time is actually a scarce commodity.


Quoting the authors of Discretionary time: A New Measure of Freedom, Stephen Cave notes that our tribal ancestors met their daily needs with only a few hours activity.
They might be the true inspiration for The 4 Hour Workweek.
Granted they did not have to work ever more hours for the perceived need for a flat screen TV, expensive college tuition, cellphones and other tech gadgets.

On a personal level, I do not need to look as far back as the cavemen to find times when vacations had real meaning.
I have fond memories of the month long stay in the Pyrenees with my parents and siblings in the summer.

We might all benefit from reading the latest book by Stefan Klein, The Secret Pulse of Time: Making Sense of Life's Scarcest Commodity (in the UK: Time: A User's Guide).
The book main point according to Stephen Cave "is not that we have too much to do and too little time but that we are too easily distracted and do not focus on making the most of the days we have. The solution: unplug the TV, switch off the mobile phone and do something that will stand the test of time".

Leigh Dayton tells us that Stefan Klein's laugh zips down the phone line in an interview for The Australian (February 2008). Only natural as the author's previous book was titled The Science of Happiness.

To conclude If we stop spending our days on time wasters and instead use the hours we regained for something meaningful or just to watch the river flow and enjoy the moment, happiness might be around the corner.

Idle thoughts on Memorial Day 2008 for Monday Work Etiquette #39

Perfect Soundtrack? Time is on my side

Related: Sleep Deprived Anyone? Why I should sleep more?
and Leisure is Vital...Work and Play in Scandinavia

Previous Post

New York City Lecture: Citizen movements in the U.S and Japan, May 27 (via Philip Glass 'Satyagraha')

May 24
The mind needs to be nourished as does the body. On May 27, the Japan Society in New York City offers a lecture titled Reflections on Citizen Movements: Peace and Politics in the U.S & Japan. Activist and former California State Senator Tom Hayden and James Orr, Chair of the Department of East Asian Studies at Bucknell University and author of The Victim as Hero: Ideologies of Peace and National Identity in Postwar Japan (2001)...
Next Post

Googlers and Microsofters Get on the Bus...

May 27
For the past 2 to 3 years, ever since I got stuck in bumper to bumper traffic on my way back from the Big Apple, when I go to New York I take the train. It is a reliable, punctual, relaxing ride. I can read, go over my notes, take a nap or whatever else I feel like. All things I could not do if driving obviously. Best of all a round trip ticket is...