As Henry, our official London Living PA, goes about assisting the lucky winner of our competition, it seems an apt time to get to grips with the issue of time in today’s fast-moving world, a theme that is a central pillar of both London Living and East Village‘s core principles.
You’ve only got to walk around London to recognise that time really is of the essence. In fact, this might seem like a gross understatement to many.
For many Londoners, every day resembles a mini marathon. The starting gun fires in the early hours of dawn and the rest of the day is a relentless blur of appointments, train times, deadlines and missed lunch breaks. And yet with all this endless running, the finish line is often far from fulfilling – a panicked fluster to satisfy a client or boss, to meet a deadline or to catch some late night TV before looking at the clock and deciding it’s time for bed. Again.
There are things you can do to improve this situation: one way of providing yourself with more of your ‘own’ time is to reduce the amount of time you spend on a crowded Tube. But that’s only have the problem. What do you do with this extra time?
Giving us a brief history of how the issue of time has become more and more prominent in today’s society, cultural thinker Roman Krznaric neatly packed together a summary of the subject, from when the first ever clock hands started controlling how society views time, to the whirlwind of organised chaos that makes up today’s rigid daily routines.
He picked apart time, demonstrating the draining affect it is having on our lives today:
‘Our troubles started when time was first sliced into tiny artificial units, and we have been subject to their increasing tyranny ever since.’ writes Krznaric. ‘Now we are colonised by clocks, on our bodies, phones, computer screens and the walls of our homes.’
Ringing any bells?
It seems an accurate observation that we are in fact ‘addicted to knowing the time…We have transformed the stuff into a precious commodity.’
Or otherwise put:
‘Western culture has instilled in us a linear notion of time as an arrow that travels from the past, dashing through the present towards the future.’
At times, Krznaric’s tone is highly critical of today’s values: ‘With no long-term perspective, we have bred an irresponsible culture, squandering resources and bequeathing our children an altered climate and fragile ecology.’
But is it possible to exist without time in a world that has been molded to synchronize with the years, months, days and hours of the calendar?
Krznaric suggests adopting ‘a chronological diet, abandoning your watch for a week and covering the clocks in your home’ or trying to speak ‘with new metaphors’ giving ‘your leisure time more value by calling it ‘time on’ rather than ‘time off’. After all, through our incessant obeying of time, ‘the danger is that we become human doings rather than human beings, constantly trying to get things done.’
So, if you feel like you’ve not got enough hours in the day or are living life on auto-pilot, then perhaps these tips are worth a try (only if you’ve got the time, obviously).