Many of us wonder where time goes and why it escapes us. But what does it even mean: “the flow of time”? And why is it considered a relative, illusory value?
When we say that something flows like a river, we mean that part of that river at some point is in a different place in relation to a point in the past. In other words, it moves through time. But time cannot move in time: time is time. Many people mistakenly begin to believe that the statement that time does not flow actually says that time does not exist, that it does not exist. This is nonsense. Time does exist. We measure it with clocks. Clocks do not measure the passage of time, they measure intervals of time. Naturally, there are intervals of time between different events; that is what clocks measure.
So where does this impression of flow come from? I can offer you an analogy. Suppose I stand up, turn around a few times, and then stop. I will have the full impression that the whole universe is spinning. I will feel that it is spinning – even though I know, of course, that it is not. Likewise, I will feel the flow of time, but I know, of course, that it is not. Probably the explanation for this illusion has to do with something in your head, and it probably has to do with memory – putting off memories, etc. So it’s a feeling we have, but not a property of time itself.
There is an opinion that of all living creatures on Earth, only man has a sense of time, while an animal lives in the present moment and if he remembers a past event, it seems to him that it has just happened. Neither does it realize how much time must pass before a certain moment in the future arrives.
The flow of time is perceived by everyone individually. When we are satisfied, it flies by very quickly. When we are afflicted (our plans differ from reality), it lingers excruciatingly long. Time unfolds the destiny of each of us, and only in strictly defined moments are successes and failures possible.
Time is not something uniform and superficial. Time is the finest thread from which the fabric of destiny is woven, and it is the incomprehensible nature of time that is the basis of everything that happens to us. No wonder there is a saying:
Those who can make friends with time will become invulnerable in everything.
It is always worth remembering that time is the only resource that can never be recovered. Everything can be recovered, but not lost time. It is also important to remember that one moment in time will never be qualitatively similar to any other. What is possible today may not be possible tomorrow.
The person who thinks that he can put off some important things for later thinks that a week from now will be exactly the same day as today. But he is deeply mistaken: in a week the quality of time will change, there will be a day for completely different things, and what should have been done today will not fit at all into the fabric of time tomorrow, the day after tomorrow or some other moment.
Everything has its own due date, everything has its OWN TIME. And you must first learn to feel it, and then begin to manage it. You should never hesitate, but you shouldn’t rush either.
The importance of time is undeniable among all people. But why do some people always have plenty of time, while others are always short of it? The six laws of time will tell you the answer to this question.
1. Law of Laborite
Everyone has a tendency to do first what gives him pleasure.
The French have such a notion as “the law of desire”, known in other countries as “the path of least resistance”. Walking on this path involves no effort, so that you can only turn away from it with violence. Therefore, in order to manage your time effectively, you need to mobilize: start with the most unpleasant things, and only afterwards, as a reward, proceed to the pleasant things. As Mark Twain said:
If you need to swallow a frog, do it quickly.
2. Strawberry law
It is not known why this law was given such a name, but its essence is much more prosaic:
The more interest we take in what we do, the faster time flows.
The speed at which time flows is directly related to the interest in the action. It is no coincidence that there is a saying: “Those in love don’t watch the clock”.
However, you should not go to extremes either, you should also remember from time to time about less pleasant, but necessary things. Remember: a good specialist (for example, programmer) is beautiful not only because of the sparkle in his eyes, but also because of ironed shirts, shaved face and washed head.
3. Murphy’s law
This scientist was well known for his caustic and pessimistic remarks. His reasoning about time was along these lines as well:
Every business takes more time than anticipated before it begins.
It is interesting to note that this law also correlates very well with the Dunning-Kruger effect (when people misjudge their knowledge and abilities and end up doing the job longer than they intended). Therefore, to avoid business failures, inaccuracies, and undone work, always estimate your time costs by setting aside time for force majeure (overcoming unforeseen circumstances).
4. Parkinson’s law
Parkinson’s opinion about the flow of time is even more ruthless than Murphy’s:
The more time we have to complete a task, the more time it takes, which does not mean that the job will be done better.
That is, time and quality of work are disproportionate quantities. What can be done about it? The only way to fight this law is to set deadlines.
5. Illich’s law
It is well known that over time a person acquires new experience, new skills, and becomes a more qualified professional. However, scientists (in particular, Ilyich) have noticed one peculiarity:
After a person reaches a certain level after some time, his increase in professionalism and efficiency decreases.
That is, the principle of marginal utility and increasing costs applies not only to affairs, but also to people. It says that each additional unit of good requires more and more expenses from an entrepreneur, and each next unit of good consumed brings less and less benefit, just as the next fourth glass of beer does not bring as much pleasure as the first one.
Therefore, it is not necessary to do any business by arranging “rushes”, it is much more effective to go to the goal gradually, step by step.
6. Taylor’s law
The time cannot be turned back. It moves only in one direction (at least in our dimension). That’s why it’s important to remember Taylor’s Law:
The order in which you do things affects your overall efficiency.
Learn to find the right order of actions, while at the same time performing them at a pace that suits you. When you feel a rush of energy in the morning, don’t waste it in sorting out correspondence, do something difficult and important.