2 min read

Events, compressing and expanding time

Events, compressing and expanding time

Our life is made of days, and our days are made of events. 

Events are major highlights which obfuscate everything else that you do in a given day.

Events are not only major social events, like a wedding could be. An event could be you going for a run, it could be you discovering something for the first time, it could be anything that moves you far more than what you usually do.

They are also present in nature: for example, a rock falling into the water is an event. 

For you to have an event, you need to have something that is constant; a routine; a plain layer that you can shock. 

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I use this all of the time when I improvise: I may be playing softly and then, all of the sudden, I hit a note very loudly. Now, that note becomes the whole piece. You can also do the opposite, by the way, play loudly all of the time, and then play softly.

As long as you have a contrast, you have an event. The larger the contrast, the more you will remember the event. 

We can use events on purpose, to compress and expand (our perception of) time at our own advantage.

How?

If I was to expand time, I would try to have no events that day. That means, probably doing the same thing over and over again, without interruptions. For example, coding from when you get up to when you go to sleep.  A day structured like this will feel very long, and you will feel like you have accomplished more than usual, in less time. 

If I was to compress time, I would try to have multiple events that day. For example, coding from 8am to 10am, then go for a walk, then eat, then code from 3pm to 5pm then go running, then chill. A day structured like this will feel shorter, and you will feel like you have accomplished less than usual, in more time.

I’m not saying one day is structured better than the other – but we can purposely choose how to structure our days based on how we feel.

Do I need more time? Perfect, just do one thing over and over again. Do I need less time? Do I just want this day to end? Perfect, do different things, switch a lot.

Thanks for reading.


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