Why do we measure time?

“You have the watches, we have time.” African saying

vintage golden clock in aged railway station terminal with arched windows
Photo by William Fortunato on Pexels.com

Isn’t this true? That the less we have time the more we tend to measure it. Or could it be that because we measure it, we perceive it like scarce?

On one hand it goes and never comes back, but on the other, new days and hours and minutes replace the former. So it is infinite: in theory. In reality, every minute that pass brings us closer to our final destiny, our only truth, the only thing we know for sure about the future: our own death. It’s true that every worry about time is a worry about our own death. And I used to obsess a lot about death, thanks to my philosophy studies in high school and the existential authors they introduced me into. But I also learned to overcome it. I will tell you how.

He asked me:

-You are afraid of dying, aren’t you?

-No, I said, it’s rather the opposite: life is scarier than death to me.

What could he tell more? He kept staring at me.

Then I said:

-Are you thinking too much about death?

He said nothing, but it was obvious that he was.

-Then I will share with you one sentence that saved my life: you can’t stare at death, like you can’t stare at the sun without harming yourself.

-But it’s the only truth! he said.

-I know, but if you think about it, the sun is a truth too. It exists for sure, and rules our daily life, yet we don’t sit in front of it and stare at it all day long. It doesn’t need our attention to exist.

Then ironically the time was over and I had to leave.

But if we keep the subject strictly on why we measure it, I have been thinking deeply about this these days. Not because of the new year, and the change of calendar. But because I was preparing a new product on my etsy shop: a digital planner. I thought a lot about its usefulness. Why was I doing this? Wasn’t it a typical chain production tool like all the efficiency and productivity tools are? Well first I thought: it’s true that we measure time for efficiency at work. You usually are less time bound during your holidays. (People typically take their watch off during holidays.) But measuring time also helped me for several things:

  • keep me motivated: if I knew it would be done in five minutes, I would be more willing to do it.
  • working smarter, finding shortcuts: doing less work and accomplishing more.
  • predict the time when the work will be done.
  • an objective reference: because the perception of time is subjective, you need to know for how long you have been really working rather than you feel like you are working.

So I thought, as long as we need to work we will need tools to measure time and our efficiency. So yes, my work was meaningful, and if you want to take a look at my 2022 dated and hyperlinked planner, you can check it in my etsy shop. (extremely low price for the first 100 customers).

0 0 votes
Article Rating

Leave a Reply

0 Yorum
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments