Friday, September 05, 2014

The Time Paradox

Just finished reading The Time Paradox: The new psychology of time that will change your life, by Philip Zimbardo and John Boyd. You know what? It has changed my life!

Within the first few pages, I was captivated by these statements:

 ... in spite of the fact that time is our most valuable commodity, it is striking to note how little thought we give to how we spend it ...

Why do we often spend our money more wisely than our time? Perhaps it's because we cannot save time; it passes whether we choose to spend it or not ...

Food for thought indeed.

The book encourages readers to take a couple of online surveys (you can find them here: to find out their dominant time perspectives, and then looks at ways they might develop healthier or more balanced approaches to time. In my case, I did the surveys and found I am enormously biased toward a 'future' time perspective, scoring very low on all the other time perspectives. In many ways this has served me well in my life  I've achieved far more than I could have with a less forward-thinking agenda  but reading the book and doing the associated exercises has reminded me that it's time to rejig my priorities, and to become more skilled in 'present hedonism', i.e. enjoy life more NOW rather than putting pleasure off till next week or next year or never.

In no small irony, however, I found the book too long. It ate too much of my time. Tighter editing could have brought it down to about half its size by omitting laboured and unnecessary details. I would love to see a more punchy, accessible version produced ... perhaps in the same vein as Michael Pollan's Food Rules, which was another book that changed my life.

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