Time is flexible. And so are we.

If I want to do something, then I will make time to meet with a friend, have a business meeting, answer a particular email, or spend time with family. If I don’t want to do something, then I can quickly come up with ways to stall, deflect, or simply ignore a request for my time.

However, I have found that the best way to protect my time is to simply say “no”. It’s clear, concise, and generally polite. Reasonable people will also respect the “no” response.

Time gets interesting when you are having fun (it seems to fly by); trying to accomplish a number of things in a finite period of time (you somehow get it all done); and it slows down when you become more aware of your surroundings (like when people are by themselves or when bored).

Another fascinating aspect of time is how it seems to move slowly during the first half of a trip, but seems to accelerate during the second half. Does our awareness of the halfway-through mark and then anticipating our departure have something to do with this perceived acceleration? It may.

Being “out of time” is what someone may say when the time allotted to accomplish a specific task has run out, as in a deadline. Another take on “out of time” is what happens when you go for some period of time, especially in nature, when you live without access to a watch, clock, or smartphone. I have found that when I’m not wearing a watch or carrying a phone, I tend to worry less about what time it is, and therefore time seems to move more slowly. Maybe it’s because I can now focus on other things. Life seems to flow as I move from opportunity to the next.

“Timeless” is a word I have seen used most often when describing a work of art or architecture. The dictionary defines it as “not affected by the passage of time or changes in fashion”. Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater, or anything by J. S. Bach comes to mind. In this case, the work transcends time periods and could be relevant at any point in time.

When people are under the constant pressure of time, how do you create something timeless? Or are we now living in an era where what we create is tied to meeting only short term needs?

In an age of immediacy, the control of your personal time and space is paramount. Otherwise, all you will be doing is bounce from one obligation to the next without having really accomplished anything.

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