What would happen if time was metricated?

Metricated Time

This is a question I have often wondered about. Mainly because I never seem to have enough of it – especially to write. I was thinking about the issue of time scarcity following a brief conversation I had with the award winning author, Michael Robotham. I went to hear him speak recently at a local library and at the conclusion I asked him how I could get my next book published. He said that you just have to keep writing as the more I wrote the better I would become. I bought a copy of his latest book, “Close your Eyes”, and he was kind enough to sign it with the following inscription:

“Keep finding time to write.”

And here in lies the problem – I never seem to have enough time. My day, like most people, falls into three parts:

  • 8-10 hours for work, followed by
  • 8 hours to sleep (I need my beauty sleep), which leaves me with….
  • 8 hours to do whatever else I want/need to do.

So here’s my theory – if time was metricated we would have more of it. Problem solved!

Just think about it. If there were 100 seconds per minute and 100 minutes per hour and 20 hours per day we would have an extra 5.6 metricated hours per day. Imagine! All that extra time to do all those things we never get done.

It also occurred to me that the concept of time and how it is measured is one of the few things that all of mankind has agreed upon. As a species we have multiple languages, different currencies, calendars and measurement systems for weights and measures, even different calendars, cultures and traditions. But how we measure time is uniform across all countries and people. If only we humans could all agree on a few more things that affect us all.

There are no substitutes for time. Once the day is over, we will never get it back and we can never go back. Time is irreversible and irreplaceable.

Of course, metricating time is whimsical thinking. The real problem is not about how much time I have, it’s how I use it. I bought a book in 1993 called ‘Yes You Can’ by Jack Collis (it’s just been reprinted). As you would expect from the title, it’s a motivational book and I still have it today. There’s a chapter in there titled ‘Time is Life’ which I re-read recently and a salutary section stood out for me.

“Time is inelastic. You can’t stretch it (so there goes my theory on metricating time!). You can’t gain time. The only choice we have with time is how to use the time we have. It’s a sobering thought to consider that in any twenty-four hours, geniuses get the same time as mental incompetents, millionaires the same as paupers. The difference doesn’t lie in the time itself, the difference lies in the activities we undertake and the quality of life that those activities produce.”

Obviously, time is not my problem (or lack of it) – it’s how I use the time and prioritising those things that really matter to me – like finding time to write everyday.

 “This time, like all times, is a very good one if we but know what to do with it.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Life Tips

I have never been one for seeking out self help tips or life advice but a while ago I came across lifehack.org – a website and blog that provides tips on increasing productivity and getting things done. Now I’m addicted. Every morning I check through the latest offering of cool tips, ideas, thought starters and motivational quotes whilst eating my cereal. I always find something that lifts my spirits or gives me a renewed sense of purpose to start my day with.

Recently I was reading 10 Quotes from Warren Buffett That Will Teach You How To Be A Successful Person. Being one of the richest men in the world, I was naturally curious to find out what Warren could teach me. At the same time I was a little sceptical about how I could possibly be able to relate to anything he has done. To my surprise, his quotes were very down to earth and I could easily apply them to my own life and circumstances. One in particular resonated well with me:

I always knew I was going to be rich. I don’t think I ever doubted it for a minute.

OK, so I really don’t think I’m going to be rich. But the meaning behind this is about believing in yourself or as they paraphrase it in the lifehack blog:

Be Certain Of Your Success, Even When No One Else Is

If you’d like to read the other nine tips from Warren Buffett, click here.

New Year’s Resolutions Blues

After a night out under the Sydney Harbour Bridge watching the fireworks and celebrating the beginning of a new year, I sat down and typed up my new year’s resolutions for 2014. At the time I was filled with a great sense of promise and expectation that this year would be different.

Keenly aware of the pact I was making with myself, I composed my list. It wasn’t very long. After years of rarely achieving any of my new year’s resolutions, I have now embraced the mantra ‘less is more’.

At the top of the list was ‘Write something everyday’ followed by: exercise more, cut down on carbs, sugar and coffee, work smarter not harder and book that overseas trip I had been promising myself…

It’s now 1 June and, yep, you guessed it, I haven’t achieved any of my goals. I’m not particularly upset about that as all of the my resolutions are the same as last year. Except one. Write something everyday.

Who would have thought that it could be so hard? All I had to do was get home from work, prepare and cook the dinner, clean up, put the washing on, hang it out to dry and sit down at my computer, ready to write. Simple! In theory.

In practice, I find it very difficult to write anything worthwhile at the end of a long day. My brain is too overloaded with the doings of my job, my energy levels are low and my husband expects me to give him a bit of attention. So after five months of trying I have given up in defeat. I just can’t do it.

Looking back I realise that the only reason it was on my list was because I read somewhere that to be a good writer and stay connected to your story you need to write every day.

Is that true? Perhaps for some but not for me. After much trial I’ve found the best time to write is on the weekends when I’m rested, my mind has stopped worrying about work and I can focus just on writing. Plus I think about my story every day, refining the plot, solving problems, identifying new avenues to explore and improve, researching online and making notes. Often it is simply taking in my surroundings and observing the people and places around me and how I can use them in my writing. That’s how I stay connected. Then when I do sit down to write I know what I’m going to do.

So now I don’t fret so much about how much I write and when I write. Instead I worry about what I write.




The ‘Write’ Environment

I recently met up with some of my ‘would-be’ writer friends and we were discussing what made the most ideal writing environment. For one person it was a set of ear buds and a laptop at a coffee shop. For another, the local library or dining room after the kids had gone to bed. My ideal space is somewhere quite with lots of space and natural light. Most often this is the dining table in my apartment. In summer time on the weekend it’s at the beach.

At the moment I am gazing out at the beach at Maroochydore. It’s early morning, the surf’s up and it’s another perfect day in Queensland. But here’s the problem. Should I stay inside or go to the beach!