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> Glue

  The Mind
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> Strategies
  Other (2)

  Environment Free of Distraction
> Time
  Easy Deflection
  No Eking
  Voluntary Simplicity
  Mind Maps
  Too Much Is Eventually Enough

  How Much Time?
> Not Enough Time
  Free Time
  Urgent vs. Important

> Approaches
  Methods of Choosing



Now I'd like to talk about some approaches, so called in honor of the amusing short story Some Approaches to the Problem of the Shortage of Time.

As a starting point, let me go back to the original statement of the idea.

There's not enough time to do everything you want to do.

Is that really true? What if you knew exactly what you wanted to do, and how much time you had to do it, and it fit? That would certainly be nice! Or, what if it didn't quite fit, but was close? What could you do then?

For one thing, you could try to give yourself more time by living longer … by being careful, staying in good health, and so on. Strangely, I don't really consider this much of an option. I mean, I take pretty good care of myself, but as soon as real effort is required, as soon as I'd need to spend, say, 5% of my time to live 10% longer, it feels too much like eking out an advantage, and I don't like that.

For another, you could try to do things faster or more efficiently. Consider, for example, dogma 2000.

1.type as you think
2.don't care about your spellings, typos and cut-and-paste related mistakes
3.try to write correctly
4.do not make mistakes on purpose
5.no intellectual capitals or other strange letter substitutions (LiKe Th15 0r ThAt)

I'm not following the dogma here, obviously, but that doesn't mean it's not a good set of ideas. I just don't think it's right for urticator.net. It's true I could save a lot of time by not going back to organize and clarify, but that time, I think, is where most of the value comes from.

For more anti-perfectionist ideas, see dogme and Word Perhect.

Having said all that, I now have to confess that it's beside the point. It's simply not realistic to imagine that everything you want to do could be made to fit in the time available … unless, of course, you don't want much, which brings me to my next point.

On the site True Meaning of Life, now defunct, one of the motifs was the Buddhist idea that all suffering is caused by desire, so that by ceasing to desire, one can also cease to suffer. The word “desire” was always a source of great confusion, because it was meant in some technical sense along the lines of “pathological desire” that made it possible to act without desire.

Actually, I got the impression that the idea was almost supposed to be a tautology, that desire could be defined as “desire that causes suffering when it is thwarted”.

Is that, then, a solution to the problem? Become a Buddhist, and learn not to desire things? In a sense, I think it is. If I weren't suffering, wanting to do all these things, then there wouldn't really be a problem, now would there? In another sense, though, I think it isn't. Even if I weren't suffering, I'd still be doing things, still have only a finite amount of time in which to do them, and so still have to choose among alternatives.

Finally, there's the cynical approach to the problem, which is that if you wait long enough, the problem will solve itself, at least as far as you're concerned.



  See Also

  Not Enough Time

@ October (2001)