How You Perceive Time and Its Effect On Time Management

Who hasn’t felt time fly by? And who hasn’t felt time crawl by when you were bored? We want to be present in the present, yet the present itself is impermanent.

How you perceive time and its effect on time management

Time management is about time as a chronological form of events. Time management is about ‘chronos’, the Greek word for a chronological form of time. Time can be seen as linear and undisturbed. Chronos refers to our linear relationship to the time of schedules, clocks and calendars. It is quantifiable and measured. Each second is as precious as the next. The clock dictates our rhythm in life. But there are other cultures that view time in a different perspective: “Kairos”.

Kairos versus Chronos

In Greek, both “Chronos” and “Kairos” literally mean “time”, but Kairos does not mean “time” in the same sense as used in contemporary English. In Greek, Kairos represents some sort of “qualitative” time, as in “the right time”. Chronos is more about “quantitative” time, as in, “what time is it?” and “How much time do we have left?”. Kairos is about taking advantage of or creating a perfect moment for action. “Did you have a good time?” is a good example of time as meant within the Kairos principle. It is about the quality of the spent time, not on the amount of time spent on a certain activity.

Rather than linear, Kairos time is circular. We all have experienced Kairos time, when we are so savouring the moment that time flies by. However, Kairos is not reserved for fun escapes. We can experience kairos time in our work, when we find ourselves in a state of “flow”, when we are so engaged with what we do that time is forgotten.

Lack of time

Who has not felt a lack of time when looking at your to-do list for the day? But what if we asked ourselves not “How long did this take?” but “What did I learn from this?” or “How relaxed am I doing this?”

Time is something we should experience. It is exponential, existential. It simply is. The more aware we are of the present moment, the less overwhelming and focal time becomes.

Instead of perceiving a lack of time, we perceive “the gift of time”.

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