Step off the timeline: Minimalist time

So much about minimalism focuses on the things, of course, the minimalism of space, the minimalism of objects, having as little as possible, having a spatial environment that’s as simple as possible.
But I find that even more interesting than this is looking at minimalism in the time dimension, looking at our time the way a minimalist would look at space.
So we think of our time dimension: it is in so many cases so cluttered with stuff.
I mean, there’s just so many things going on, and I often get this feeling of just being in a timeline where I’m always just looking forward to the next element of the timeline.
I’m always counting down towards the next thing.
So in this discussion about, you know, waiting for time to pass, or being against time, time’s against you, time’s on your side: a commenter brought up the question of well, how do you just live in the moment? What do you do for that? What about not thinking time’s on your side or against you? And it made me think: maybe really what we need to do is be minimal about the timeline.
So our whole sense of the timeline, of the way time is passing, the way we fit into a story of time and a pattern of time: it seems like this is something that we can adjust how we think about it.
We don’t need to always be looking at time as a timeline.
I mean, the whole timeline idea is just one way of looking at time, and it’s certainly not required.
It seems like what time, the timeline, measuring time, what that is really useful for is when you’re meeting people.
To have two people meet, same place, same time, you have a sense of a timeline, so you can say OK, I’ll be there at this point in time, you can be there at that point in time as well.
So that, of course, is very useful.
If you had no timeline, you would just say, you know, “See you there whenever you get there” and there might be a lot of waiting.
So this is where the whole sense of measuring time is valuable.
So when we have to meet somebody, we have an appointment, when two or more people to be gathered in the same place and time, now we can measure, and now we have to time everything so that OK, I have the time it takes to get there, and then I need to get ready before that, and I have to do whatever I need to finish before that, and we’re just counting back and back, measuring everything out so we can make sure that we can be there and meet at that appointed time.
But what if we only looked at it this way when it was necessary? What if only when we have to meet somebody at a particular time, only then do we think about the timeline? And when there is no plan to meet somebody, what if we could just turn off the timeline, turn off our sense of “time is ticking by, here’s what time it is, here’s what things are coming up”? We don’t need to think about that all the time.
It just seems like it’s become an automatic habit, so that, you know, even when I don’t have a planned activity, an appointment coming up, I still just have these minutes and hours ticking away in my mind.
But what if we just didn’t think about that until it was necessary? So we have only those appointments that we absolutely need to be at a particular place at a particular time: there we can use the measurement of time.
But otherwise, imagine we just need some way to turn time off, and just be ready to turn it on again.
Maybe an alarm goes off at a certain time in the future when I have to start thinking about time again.
Or maybe we can even forget time entirely and use the natural clock, the sun, to measure.
We could say OK, if I have no appointments until after sunset, then you could say “I don’t even need to think about time at all until the sun sets.” And we can just have some time without time.
So I’m interested to experiment with this idea.
It seems hard to do, because there’s always so many appointments, but if we can just limit that number of appointments, and put them together in some way, so that we can have these stretches of time where we don’t need to measure time, seems like that could have some good effects.
So I’d be curious to hear if anybody else is trying something like this.

#notime #simplify #minimalism

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