We each have a unique relationship with time that is formed from many different influences. Some are cultural and relate to concepts around punctuality, how much time we should be spending on different kinds of activities, and even how much time it “ought” to take to accomplish anything in particular. Some are biological, determining how well our brain can subconsciously track the passage of time or estimate how much time a task will take. Our experience of time is constantly in flux, from the yearly cycles of how long a day or night might last, to how much we are enjoying or dreading an immediate experience, even to how old we are—as a child, a year is a much larger fraction of our life experience than as an adult. Coming up with strategies for managing our time and productivity becomes easier when we explore our individual relationship with time.
We live in a remarkable time. We have an infinite wealth of information, connections and resources at our fingertips, thanks to the internet and smartphones. But what we don’t have is an abundance of time or unlimited attention spans, both of which are scarce resources.