Afternoon Inquisition

AI: Where’s my time?

I’ve been missing the last few weeks. I have no real excuse except for the fact that I have absolutely no time management skills. In fact, I’m writing this in the 5 minutes before I have to pick up my son from day camp. I will be late. I’ve resigned myself to always being late for everything everywhere always. Because time just seems to move a little faster for me than it does for everyone else.

It’s probably true. Physicists say that time is subjective, right?

But what’s crazy is that everyone around me seems to have mastered time wrangling. They have time to run marathons, go to work, write blogs, work on hobbies, sleep… I wish I could tame the clock like they do. But, I can’t.

So, gentle readers, I ask you:

Where do I find the time that everyone else has? Was I really given a smaller dose of hours than everyone else in the world? Do you have the time you need? Is this a me problem or can I fix it with physics? Is there a physicist in the house who can help? 


Elyse MoFo Anders is the bad ass behind forming the Women Thinking, inc and the superhero who launched the Hug Me! I'm Vaccinated campaign as well as podcaster emeritus, writer, slacktivist extraordinaire, cancer survivor and sometimes runs marathons for charity. You probably think she's awesome so you follow her on twitter.

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  1. Schedule, schedule, schedule! Even if you can’t stick to it perfectly, having SOME idea of what you want to do today (or this week) really helps. If something comes up, just add it to the schedule and move things around.

    Mind you, I don’t have kids, I hear they can contribute to ‘stuff coming up’.

  2. Google Calendar with reminders on events has been extremely helpful for my family in that we put everyone’s schedule in one place and modify accordingly. We are even able access this on our phones and the computer.

  3. I’m noticing a distinct lack of information on how physics can change the properties of time as they specifically relate to me.

    1. Zip up to your space station and spin the earth around at close to the speed of light for a while. Everyone on earth will stand nearly frozen in time, while you have all the time you need to finish whatever you want.

      1. No, wait, the earth would clearly rip apart long before it reached that kind rotational speed.

        OK, how about this: Send everyone you know on a cruise to a nearby star or planet at nearly the speed of light.

  4. Elyse, I feel that all the time that everyone else seems to have must have been stolen from the likes of you and me! Bloody time thieves. I never have enough time for everything, and I rarely have enough time even for the important stuff. I blame everyone but you and me. I’ll give physics the stink eye while I’m at it…

  5. If you match your velocity with my frame of reference, I would hypothesize that you would get more done than I would in a given day and I would be willing to double-blind wager on that.

    But that’s the essence of the problem there. In observing any other person and the amount of time they have you are setting yourself as the at-rest reference frame and all others are moving relative to you. Hence, when you observe them you are observing their clocks to be moving slower than yours. It looks like they have more time to get things done. Switch the frame of reference and the new observer…those other people are seeing your clock move slow. You’re appearing as the time wrangling master to them.

    Otherwise, no, I do not have the time I need even after cutting out those things that are really wastes of time; sleeping, eating, and removal of that which has been consumed. It’s a little more time, but it doesn’t seem to help to make a dent into all the things one wants to accomplish.

    But there’s a good flip side to that. What would happen if you finished everything? Find a rock and sit. For the rest of one’s days. Watching sunsets. Not bad. But after a week I’d be stircrazy and wanting something new to do, but since I finished everything, everything, there’s nothing left to do. Which reminds me of a They Might Be Giant’s song…[5.3MBs worth of rambling text removed]

    Regardless of the spiders and catchup; I hope you are able to find more time and have those minions we talked about manage it for you. :)

    1. Actually, I don’t think that works. You see everyone else’s clock running slow. That means you see them moving in slow motion. The physics points to the conclusion that if everyone moves at the same speed, you should see everyone appear to move slowly, not the reverse.

  6. I don’t know if this is relevant, but if so, happy early birthday (or late; it’s physics). A good way to prioritize is to not be afraid to let go of fun little distractions because, much of the time, work ends up being as fun as the junk.

  7. I’m a bloody Time Lord (officially, Regius Professor of Chronology for my local skeptics group), Tardis and everything, and I don’t understand it. All I know is I have to leave in 4 3 minutes to get to where I’m supposed to be on time.

    Damned time thieves!

  8. I have ADD & no concept of time whatsoever. I have to program my phone to reminde me to eat lunch & dinner.

    Which is to say, if you ever figure out how the physics work, do share.

  9. It’s hopeless. There is never enough time. Those people around you are liars or they are on speed. My advice is to lower your expectations and enjoy your life and your kids.

  10. And by the way, from where I am sitting, you look to me like one of those people who does it all…, skepchick, WTF (I can’t remember the new name) and who know what else. I don’t know how YOU do it.

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