On the experience of time through the work day.
I preface this by saying the point of the story isn’t procrastination, but I may bleed into it.
I’ve had the same job 2 years now. It is an 8 hour day. I can’t explain exactly how different it feels.
Last year the hours dragged by. I would check the clock often and it never felt like time passed. I would set up checkpoints to stop at and stretch the amount of time cleanup took at the end of each day.
Now, I look at the clock often and can’t quite figure out where the time has gone. So I start to wonder what has changed to bring this about.
The most obvious component would be the job I just had before this. We worked a minimum of 10 hour days, but it quickly became 14 hours a day, and then 7 days a week. Added to this were 2 all-nighters. I think coming off of this, no matter what my job was. 8 hours just wouldn’t feel like much.
Next is the nature of my work and the setting in which I’ve done it. These 8 hour days and those 10-14 hours are and were spent mostly alone. I was by myself in the “back room” where I couldn’t hear any talk from the outside. So for up to 14 hours straight, it was nothing but me and the work that I was producing. There were times that I would resent having to do that much, but mostly, I spent it floating through my head. At first I would think about things, but then it changed just to thoughts happening.
I did play music. It wouldn’t just be a radio station or anything of the like. I would purposefully put something on. Often, it was the same album or songs on repeat. I thought that having a 1.5 hour loop would make me hyper-aware of time. The opposite happened though, it just started to all blend and become the same time. I don’t much remember doing what I did. Much of me was set to autopilot.
It is autopilot of the body that condenses time. Last year, I wasn’t knowledgeable enough in sewing to “just do it.” I had to seriously think and ask questions. It was this system of problem solving that kept me in pace with the minutes. Now though, the work I am does itself, it just needs my hands to accomplish that. This let’s my mind run free as my body produces.
But I don’t know yet. Yes my mind is free. Yes I spend that time working alone. Is that really what condenses the time? Sometimes when I’m just sitting alone, those conditions are also met and time lasts forever. Though I think that’s part of it, it can’t be the finale.
The hardest part is, I can’t remember what goes through my mind as I work. I don’t remember much from Montana, and I can’t even remember what today’s thoughts were. (July 8th)
I like that we’re now writing. I wrote a bit in Montana because I knew it would help me remember what it was like. Maybe I should jot down a line or 2 during the workday so I can remember what happened.
Inversely to what I’ve been saying about putting my body on autopilot and not remembering the day, there are those who seem to be very aware of their workday. This usually results in a list of complaints and whatnot come 7:30 pm. I haven’t asked them if they’re on autopilot or not. I guess that would be a good place to continue these thoughts.
I think a lot of it has to do with what moment you live in. I remember in my younger years wanting to be out of school so I can continue playing Pokemon. That was what my mind was set on and the day took forever, but I probably didn’t learn a thing. I had tunnel vision.
Maybe that’s it, tunnel vision versus not. Maybe it’s not autopilot; rather I’m not tunneling my mind to any one thing. I don’t have any puzzles to solve, no worries, no guilts. At this point, my mind is running everywhere. Maybe that’s why time goes fast when you’re having fun. There is no tunnel for your mind, just the freedom of fun.
Now that I have an inkling and I won’t be able to sleep tonight, I just want to add that understand the responsibilities of accomplishing a task also plays a part in this. To make a costume, many hours of work are expected. There is a time for everything, including the menial and the tedious.