As much as I like to live in the moment, there are always times when I wish I had just half an hour or an hour more. I’m sure lots of people will empathise with this concept.
Everyone looks forward to the clocks going back one hour in the winter because of the extra hour in bed. I had to find a way of mimicking this so that I could gain some time whenever I wanted. It comes down to living in different time frames. Early birds and night owls live and sleep for the same amount of time, but they have difference lifestyles as a result of a shift in timeframe. I myself prefer arising at 6am and sleeping at 11pm, as opposed to arising at 9am and sleeping at 2pm. To me, being a night owl feels like a very lazy behaviour. I have always felt sluggish, slow, uninspired and angry whenever I am forced to do this, even though the hours are the same.
Because I prefer the proactive, alert and ready lifestyle of an early riser, I decided to shift my timeframe using a more forcible measure. I put my clock forwards by roughly 1 hour. I have been living this way for the past couple of weeks, and it makes for a very interesting change.
Crucially, you mustn’t know exactly how much you’ve put the clock forward by. This prevents you from “translating” the time and negating any effect the change will have. To do this, put the clock forward a set amount, now wiggle the minute hand back and forth a bit without paying too much attention.
Now I habitually live my life by my “new” time. Should there ever be an occasion where I need an extra hour to get something done, I can turn back the clock to its original time and Bob is your uncle.
Of course you don’t actually gain anything net. The system works by “storing” the time that you don’t need, so that you can release it when it is necessary. For example, instead of watching a useless TV programme at 10pm, I will ignore it, put the clock forward to 11pm and go to bed. If I need an extra hour to get something done the next day, I can release my stored hour by simply turning back the clock.
Now, I hear you say: “Why don’t you just go to bed earlier?” Well I just did, actually. But because the clock has gone forward, I am free to put it back whenever I like. If I put the clock forward to store time, thus preventing me wasting it on a useless activity, it gives me the flexibility of choosing when to use my extra time in a way that will give me the most benefit. Early rising doesn’t give you the same flexibility, you have to use your time right there, right now.
You are never late for anything when you put your clock forwards. You can’t take the chance that you are sure you know what the “proper” time might be (because of the wiggling minute hand technique discussed earlier), so you get ready in good time. You’re early for everything, never missing the train or bus, not having to walk into work in the middle of briefing. It’s great.
Sunday evening. The sign of a good job is that you don’t spend Sunday evening worrying about Monday morning. But if it comes to 8pm, you can always turn back the clock to 7pm, and gain a whole hour of quality time that is worth more to you, than an hour within Saturday afternoon. You can use the technique to gain time when it is most valuable to you. You get to decide. An hour on Saturday morning is worth much less to me than an hour on Sunday evening, So I use this technique to transfer the time to where (or when) I want it.
It is a lot of fun living your life out of sync with the rest of the world. Not because you are alienating yourself, but because you can take satisfaction from the fact that you are discovering new ways of living. You are exploring alternatives to finding happiness in the conventional way, that sort of behaviour is called here: “enjoying the journey” because that is what life is, a never ending journey. Live your life by enjoying the journey because A). Who has a destination anyway? B.) How will you know the destination when you get there? and C.) Once you’re there, it’s not going to last very long, because you will be dead quite soon afterwards.
I plan to make living my life one hour ahead into one of my 28 day challenges. It will be interesting to see whether I can continue exploiting the novelties of this system, or whether I will simply become used to it.