Pink Floyd on Perceptual Time

If we all have 24 hours in a day, why do some people seem to have more time? New research (and one of the greatest bands ever) may be able to help.

Legendary rock band Pink Floyd once sang:

Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day, you fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way. Kicking around on a piece of ground in our hometown, waiting for someone or something to show you the way.

pink floydIf you don’t wait for someone to show you the way, there’s a chance your day may seem longer. A study out of Berkeley has found that the more power a person has, the more time they have. By being in a position of power, these individuals’ perception of time is distorted in a favorable way.

One explanation is that those who feel they have an abundance of time possess a greater sense of control over their lives. As a result, these individuals experience less stress, greater focus, better decision making, and ultimately increased productivity.

So how do we experience this increase in available time? Unfortunately, we cannot just snap our fingers to increase our power. What we can do is take more control over our life. If this sounds overwhelming, let’s start with taking control over your day.

Quit whining. Saying “poor me” will only make you feel more powerless.

Start the day with an agenda. Don’t plan every minute, but block out time for the higher-priority items.

Interruptions, emergencies, and changing priorities are often unavoidable, and we frame them as being beyond our control. Stop. These inconveniences are a reality of your role so accept it as being part of the day-to-day operations.

Relish the wins. Nothing makes people feel more powerful than achieving a goal. Don’t gloss over them or minimize their importance. Take a minute to acknowledge or even celebrate the accomplishment.

As nice as it may be, you cannot “race and run to catch up with the sun.” Time keeps moving regardless of how you spend it. Don’t let your day dictate your time; with a healthy dose of control, you can manage your day and, in the process, get a few more hours.