Today in most of the United States we begin the period known as Daylight Savings Time. In case you missed it, we turned the clocks ahead by one hour: spring forward.
Funny, isn’t it, how it’s called Daylight Savings Time, yet we don’t save much. In fact, we feel like we lost an hour.
Are You Feeling Behind Your Day?
Do you feel behind you day? Are you rushing and hustling, trying to make up for the “lost time”? Are you running yourself ragged trying to recover that missing hour?
The Lost Hour
We didn’t lose an hour today, just like we didn’t gain an hour in the fall. It’s all there, just reallocated. The only thing that happened is that we shifted the labels on what we call the various “sun-related events” that happen each day. Yesterday, in New York, we gave “sunset” the name of “5:57 pm.” Today, we give “sunset” the name of “6:58 pm.”
The Gained Hour
Perhaps you’re of the mindset that we gained an hour of daylight. Maybe you’re beating yourself up for not using it more effectively. If that’s the case, let’s dispel the myth of the “extra hour of daylight” with the truth. We did not suddenly gain an hour of daylight today.
Today in NYC we have 11 hours, 44 minutes and 15 seconds of daylight. Yesterday’s total: 11:41:34. The difference: 2 minutes and 41 seconds more today than we had yesterday.
If you woke up with the sunrise, and you downshift as the sun sets, today is virtually the same as yesterday. The only thing that’s different is the number on the clock.
Get Off of Clock Time
The sun rises and sets on its own schedule. We don’t control it. The only thing we control is the label we give to it and the meaning we give to that label.
Time as we know it is an illusion. It is a human construct. Clock time is not real time. The more you can get off of clock time, the more energy you create for focusing your attention on what really matters.
Clock time serves a purpose, but it helps to recognize that this purpose is limited in scope.
Obviously, it helps to have a structured system to facilitate scheduling of meetings or travel. This is, in fact, why clock time was invented — yes, invented. In the late 19th century, as the Industrial Revolution brought new technologies like the railroad and telegraph to the world, it became important to have a standardized metric of time. Before then, most people made a living by working the land, and a general sense of the day and of the seasons was enough.
The problem isn’t clock time, per se, but when we allow our expectations around time to control us.
Stop Being a Slave to Time
Be honest: is today any different from any other day? How often do you feel like you’re running out of time?
What you focus on controls you. The more you focus on time — tracking it, saving it, finding it — the more you allow time to control you.
This is how you become a slave to time.
Focusing on time is a waste of time. More important, it’s a waste of energy. And when it comes to living a productive and filling life, energy is more important than time.
What You Lose In Your Search For More Time
You didn’t lose an hour today. But while you search for time, you are losing the one thing you can’t get back: this moment.
That’s the only time that you have for sure. You can’t save it. You can’t plan it. And you can’t get it back once it’s gone.
Slow down. Step back. Breathe. Be in this moment. It’s the only one that is not an illusion.