Every decision that you make in your life is determined by an internal force. This one is known as the personal time zone. It is every person's perception of time. The personal time zone is highly influential in our day to day lives. However, many of us are blissfully unaware of it. Each one of us lives either in the past, the present or the future. By understanding your personal time zone, you can manage your life in amazing ways which you never thought of before. This is the conclusion that is brought forward by Dr. Phillip G. Zimbardo and Dr. John Boyd in their book, "The Time Paradox". Dr. Zimbardo is one of the top psychology researchers in the world. He was responsible for the Stanford Prison Experiment which is hailed as one of the best psychological tests of all time. Alongside Dr. Boyd, they have written this book and explored how each one of us relates to time. The book shows us various perspectives of time, their benefits and pitfalls too. It is essentially a plan to show you how to identify your personal time zone, understand it and invest every second you have. Here are some lessons we learned from the book, "The Time Paradox".
We tend to give away our time more often than we should
Dr. Zimbardo indicates that time is one of the most valuable resources we have. It is actually more valuable tham money. He encourages us to think long and hard before we spend our time on anything. Purpose to think about your time like a currency. Never spend it on things or people who you don't care about. Moreover, do not spend it on trivial things. In addition to that, do not spend your time all in one place. Always judge the context of how you spend your time. If someone that you barely like asks you to invest your money in their company, you are more likely to say no. However, if they invite you to dinner, you are much more likely to say yes and then waste a whole hour of our time with someone you do not like. Thus, purpose to spend your time responsibly.
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Think about your future
It is very important to become future oriented. This is where you judge your present actions and think carefully about their future consequences. The authors indicate that we should create goals which are of a long term nature. After that, we should identify how to invest our time every day to achieve them. By having the future you in mind at all times, you will make smart choices about the food you eat, your academics, your work, relationships and also how you manage your time. Today should not be a medium of instant gratification but a platform for creating tomorrow.
It is important to have small midlife crises regularly
A midlife crisis is where a person reaches the age of forty and is unsure of whether the life they are living is by choice or by demand. They question the motivation of going to work every day and may feel dissatisfied with their lives. It can lead to panics, relationship problems or worse. Dr. Zimbardo encourages us to have a small midlife crisis every day. This is where you take the time re-evaluate whether the direction you are taking in life is exactly what you want. If not, you still have time to change it. Otherwise, you can continue on that path until the next time you have to engage in a little midlife crisis. You can perform these self-checks daily or three times a week.
You can understand a person by observing how they think about time
Your personal time zone contributes immensely to your personality. Dr. Zimbardo indicates in his book that every person's perspective of time is different, just like our fingerprints. Thus, if you desire to understand a person, enquire about how they think about the past, present and future. Most importantly how they think about the time which they have left on earth. Is death real to them and if so, what are they doing to maximize the time that they have here on earth? Asking about the perception of time is an effective way to understand a person.
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Age greatly affects decision-making
Young people imagine that they have a lot of time left to live while older people have a firm grasp that their time on earth is waning. This perception of lifespan left greatly affects decision-making. Young people prioritize leisure activities such as traveling, meeting new people and experiencing different cultures. According to the author, they have a mentality of "More is Better". Thus, they look to experience more things, as quickly as possible. However, older individuals seek to spend time with fewer people doing highly valuable activities. Examples of such could be cooking, chatting, playing board games and home-making. For older people, the mentality is, "More Quality than Quantity." Therefore, as you interact with people of different ages, it is important to understand how they perceive the time they have left. This way, you can predict and understand their life decisions.
Engage in some exercise as often as possible
The world around us has evolved much faster than our bodies have. Factors such as technology, cultures, medicine and industry developed at a rate which is much quicker than the evolution of our bodies. The authors explain that human evolution takes much longer than the Industrial Revolution. Our bodies are still designed to survive and thrive in the early years of evolution. This means that we are still engineered to be outdoors most of the time, performing manual activities, hunting and gathering. Our world today is so advanced that technology is applied in literally every sector. For example, we can enjoy the news and entertainment over the Internet on demand. Thus, we lead sedentary lifestyles and eat processed food. This is not healthy for our bodies. The authors encourage us to take some time to exercise as often as we can. This is great for your physical and mental health.
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The Important Take Away
Time is of finite nature. Once it is gone, we cannot get it back. Drs. Zimbardo and Boyd explain this concept at length in "The Time Paradox". From this treatise, we learn quite a lot about the nature of time and our perception of it. Some of the lessons contained in the book are explained above. It is an eye-opening take on the most valuable resource today.
You can get the book here!