People are often described as being two-dimensional. It implies that there is a lack of depth to their character; a three-dimensional person is supposed to be the complete picture. But many forget that there is a forth dimension: Time. Is it sheer folly to try and control a dimension?
Without Time life would cease to exist. Consciousness only exists because we all have an innate sense of the passing of time. We know we’re happy or sad because we have a fixed time reference; we know that our psyche, indeed everything in life, is constantly changing. We’re happy, because we know that sometime in the past we were not. Without Time we would not be able to say if we were happy or not.
Time is a universal law and yet we hear experts telling us we should manage it. Time management is now big business. But time management implies total control, that we can somehow change it. We pay these people huge amounts of money each year so that we too can learn the trick of managing, taming and controlling time. We take these gurus seriously; they are rather like the fabled alchemists who could change lead into gold.
But what if they preached about width management, height management and depth management and how we need to control them to live a more fulfilled life. We would think them ludicrous. And yet, when they talk about time management – the forth dimension – we nod respectfully and beseech them to take our money.
Perhaps I’m being a little facetious but I think there is a serious point to be made. When we spend too much effort in sectioning off our time from one activity to the next, we may think we are more fulfilled, but I suspect, something dies within us.
Are we seriously supposed to draw up time charts for work, family, hobbies and ‘quality time’. Surely, our family is a constant part of us; is it possible to shut them out altogether when they are not scheduled in. The term ‘quality time’ implies an allotted time for us to explore our emotions; a time to be happy, to reflect, to build relationships, to be sad even. But how can we ‘switch on’ these things; we’re human beings, not machines. Our emotions and thoughts creep up on us; they bare scant regard to time, whether it’s been allotted to them or not.
When we try to live a regimented life we loose that certain something that makes us human.
Of course, the business of getting through the day does require a degree of organization but spontaneity, creativity and true fulfillment is only possible when time is given a long leash.
I often think that when Time Management gurus tell us that we can reach a better, happier place from the rigorous management of our allotted time on this planet, they are, at best misguided. What is more likely to happen is that we turn off our humanity; we become machine-like. A machine doesn’t have any self doubts or bad times, but neither does it have our genius for thought, creation and spontaneity.
A machine is the perfect example of time management. A human being is the perfect example of something that is not governed by, or tries to manage time, but is aware of the possibilities that time gives each and everyone one of us.