Time and Time Again

My friend Tim, who has a wholly different take on Time. We think he may have dropped an ‘e’

I’m reminded, as I tickle life into my new project – 3Desk – that things always take way more time than I anticipate.

I presume it’s the entrepreneurs curse (and blessing) that they continue to remain over-optimistic about how long things will take and what can be achieved in a given amount of time. The blessing is that if we knew the truth, we often wouldn’t start. Fortunately that’s not true in the case of 3Desk… the reality is slower than the anticipated, but it’s still proving very interesting.

Nonetheless, things take time. Lots of time.

I came across a nice article this week about time – by the founder of SongKick. He claims that startups ‘lose’ years in their attempt to be the newest shiniest big thing. A gentle reminder to people that start dates are often under-estimated. Overnight successes are often over-decade successes when you probe a little more closely.

Another article suggests that your formative years are your twenties –  so I’m now a bit late. Although, perhaps I’m a late-developer like Dave McClure, an indefatigable evangelist of all things web, who claims that his Damascene moment came later in life. Heartening.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m surprised at how often ‘time’ forms a component of my writing and thoughts. I seem, it would seem, to battle with time – from an attention ‘in-the-moment’ point of view, as well as recognizing what I might have been.

I’m aware that if I was to loosen the noose of time, or as Steve Jobs explained, to ‘live every day like it was my last, because one day it will be true’, then I might actually conquer some of the things that time is currently throwing in my way. There is a delicious irony in the idea that if you are too aware of time and achievement, you get less done. We should Let Go.

Someone asked me yesterday what I took time for and the only thing I could think of was sleep. Bad Simpletom.

So, how to remedy this issue? My own solution is embryonic and undisciplined, but here’s what I’m working on…

1) Taking 5 minutes each morning, whilst my coffee brews on the hob, to meditate. Should do more, but I’m going gentle on myself.

2) Integrate breathing and attention as often as possible into my day. Just 10 breaths, as often as I remember and trying to use mnemonics, like going to the loo, eating, stepping outside in order to remind.

3) Being more deliberate about time ‘off’. Even if just a few minutes walking to the shops, or having a drink with someone. Trying to banish ‘work’ or ‘stress’ from that moment.

4) Reducing obsessive email checking. I’ve been using RescueTime and have noticed that every week, without fail, email is my number 1. I’m trying to bash it to number 2+.

5) Not having too many things I’m working on at any given time.

Now for a bit more time to blog a bit more often. This has felt good, productive even in the telling and explaining. That’s why we do it, us mad bloggers, or naturists… as, it has been claimed that “Writing is a socially acceptable form of getting naked in public” – Paulo Coelho

Plus, it would seem, from the number of links to other posts on this blog, none of this is new.

2 thoughts on “Time and Time Again

  1. Tom this is great. I think its a movement toward a nice form of balance.

    Enough complexity to create new and exciting things. Enough simplicity to be happy, calm and grateful.

    That list you mention are all things I try and incorporate in my working day — the most important part for me is to be able to really enjoy doing nothing.

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