This is the post I intended to make earlier today.

Have you ever considered how you process time?

I’m sure that you’re aware that our perception of time is variable: there are times when time seems to speed by, and others when it’s at a veritable crawl. It’s all about subjective perception. There are different ways of handling time; the two most common are called in time and through time.

In-time experiences are those when we become totally absorbed in an experience and are completely associated. We aren’t aware of time passing. Think of those times when you are watching an exciting film, reading a gripping book, or totally caught up in a video game. You were living in-time. People who live this way most of the time see the future ahead of them, the past behind, and often live just for the moment, neither planning nor remembering much.

Through time, on the other hand, is when we are disassociated from what is happening. We are aware of time passing, the way the past and the future interact, and even how long something has been going on, or how long we have to wait for the bank to open. We are simply passing through time and are often more like observers, not actually in the experience. People who live this way most of the time plan for the future, carry those plans out, and often have multiple things going on at the same time.

When we live in time, we experience things much more intensely, while when passing through time, we know much better how those experiences affect us, because we see their relationship with everything else.

This explains why so many time management courses fail: they are written by through-time people, who plan and write about how to do things, while in-time people are often sent on them, because they are incapable of doing such planning.

If you are habitually one kind or the other, you should be aware that it’s possible to learn to live the other way, too. Those of us who can switch from one to the other, as the situation demands, are the ones who live the fullest lives.

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