Many people are enslaved by time. They go about their day glancing at their watch or smart phone. I know that I do! We have a buzz on our smart watch alerting us to run to the next phone call, get to the next appointment. We live by our calendars and seek to hit ever meeting. There is nothing wrong with such a habit, but it is good to remember that it is a habit. For years you may have had the habit of wearing a watch without thinking about it. You just slipped it on after university, or maybe in high school, so that you could reach your classes on time and then forgot to remove it—even when going on vacation.
It’s an interesting experience to remove your watch for a couple of weeks. You’ll not only gain a bit of freedom, you’ll also gain insights on where all the other clocks and watches are in the world. You will learn to look at other people’s wrist during lunch to see how much time you have before the next meeting. You’ll look across the room and notice a clock you had failed to notice. You’ll see that the bank at the intersection you cross every morning really has a clock and you never noticed.
The idea here is to open up your awareness. First, to the habit you have. Second, to realize that time is your most precious commodity. By not measuring it all the time, you’ll actually participate and cherish it more.
TRY THIS: Rid yourself of your watch for two weeks. Try to live in the world again without time—or at least a little less meticulous measurement of it. Learn how many ways you can find out the time. Shake yourself out of your normal everyday world and take off your watch. As the great physicist Erwin Schrödinger wrote, “For eternally and always, there is only one now, one and the same now; the present is the one thing that has no end.” Each day in your journal, record your reactions, observations, frustrations. And realize that you may find yourself late when you were never late before or early when you used to find yourself late. Time will start to shift.