Time: Using It, Finding More of It and Appreciating It

We're all obsessed with finding more time.

I’ve always been a fan of Mitch Albom’s books (Hello?! The Five People You Meet in Heaven…classic) so when I saw the author appear on Good Morning America in September clutching a giant hourglass, I was intrigued and knew I’d most definitely pick up his latest book, The Time Keeper.

“Try to imagine a life without timekeeping. You probably can’t…yet all around you, timekeeping is ignored. Birds are not late. A dog does not check its watch. Deer do not fret over passing birthdays. Man alone measures time.”– The Time Keeper

In the Good Morning America interview, Albom talks about how obsessed humans are with the passage of time. He explains that only we could immediately identify with the hourglass he’s holding in his hand, but if you were to put that same hourglass in front of an animal, it would have no idea of the object’s purpose.

Albom goes on to explain that as humans, we worry that we don’t have enough time to do the things we want to do andThe Time Keeper by Mitch Albom most of all, we worry about time running out. This concept was the inspiration for his latest best-selling novel.

I read this book in one sitting last Sunday, immediately engrossed in the story, but more importantly, fascinated with the greater meaning behind the book.

In The Time Keeper, Albom points out how many phrases and expressions incorporate the word “time.” He names a few: pass time, waste time, lose time, a long time, right on time…the list goes on.

His main point is that we all are so obsessed with time and gaining more of it that we don’t necessarily focus on how we’re spending that time.

I can absolutely relate to this concept. As someone who meticulously plans out my days, sometimes even to the minute, I can 100 percent admit that I’m obsessed with “time.” I’ve written blog posts on making your commute more productive and ways to squeeze in workouts when pressed for time. I’m always thinking about ways that I can maximize the time I do have. I try not to waste time and start my days very early to pack the most into a day that I possibly can. While I love being productive, I’m not afraid to admit that perhaps this isn’t the best way to approach life.

People always talk about the illustrious goal of “living in the moment.” This is a concept I’ve always struggled to grasp. It probably has to do with my Type A personality, but I’ve found that I’m never satisfied in the moment I’m in. Even if I’m happy or in a good place, I’m always striving for the next big goal. Never enjoying the satisfaction of achievement, but continuing to press on, always wanting more.

Maybe I need to slow down. Maybe we all need to slow down. I don’t really know what the answer is.

Personally, I know that I want to find a balance. A happy medium between accomplishing goals and feeling productive, but also striving to enjoy each day and each step in the process.

“There was always a quest for more minutes, more hours, faster progress to accomplish more in each day. The simple joy of living between sunrises was gone.”-The Time Keeper

Do you find yourself constantly measuring time or are you happy with the way you allow time to affect your life? Please share your thoughts in the comments below!

  • ammeyer6s

    I just moved a week ago and I am now trying to adjust to commuting a total of 3 hours a day instead of 20-30 minutes. I work full time and am also in grad school full time. The past week has been extremely stressful in trying to find enough time to get my homework done, and I’m ashamed to say, I haven’t exercised once because I haven’t had the time/energy. I read your article for making your commute bearable/productive. I’ve been considering audiobooks for my literature classes (still have 5 books to read this semester) but since we’re quizzed every week on them, I’m a little worried about how well I’ll retain the information. I think I’m going to give it a try on one of the shorter novels and see how it goes.

    As for exercise, I have no idea what to do about it. On nights I have classes, I don’t get home until after 10 and still have to eat dinner and sometimes do more homework. I’m considering working out on my lunch breaks, but then there’s the issue of being all sweaty and gross the rest of the day (my lunch breaks aren’t long enough for a workout and a shower unfortunately). Any suggestions?

    • Jessica Lawlor

      Eeeks!

      How has it been going since you first commented?

      A three hour commute sounds completely unbearable to me; I think you have the right idea with trying audiobooks.

      As for finding time to work out, can you do it before you leave for work? It may require waking up super early, but it will give you energy for your day and then once you get home at night, you have the whole evening ahead of you to relax.

  • I feel as though I’m always measuring time, likely because I feel like I never have enough time in a day! And it looks like we’re on the same page when it comes to “living in the moment.” That’s definitely something that I’m trying to work hard at improving, so if you have any breakthroughs, let me know. 🙂

    Also, thanks for sharing what you thought about “The Time Keeper.” I recently added it to my wish list and am happy to hear you enjoyed it!

    • Jessica Lawlor

      I feel the same way! Let me know what you think once you’ve read The Time Keeper! Thanks for commenting 🙂

  • Pingback: There Will Never Be Enough Time- Jessica Lawlor()