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How We Spend Our Days, How We Spend Our Lives, and One Way To Get a Better Grasp On Time

Published 4/14/2015

How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. But how can we get a better grasp on time? In this episode, I share a simple tip that exploits our brain's natural tendency to take shortcuts to help you better experience time and avoid the feeling of "time flying by" faster than you'd like.

Today's episode is sponsored by OneMonth.com - go to http://onemonth.com/developertea to get 25% off your first month!

Transcript (Generated by OpenAI Whisper)
Hey everyone welcome to Developer Tea my name is Jonathan Cutrell and today is our very special inspiration episode for this week. Today we are talking about how we spend our days and how we spend our lives. Annie Dillard, an author, she said this quote it's kind of a long one so stick with it. This is the quote she said how we spend our days is of course how we spend our lives. What we do with this hour and that one is what we are doing. A schedule defends from chaos and whim. It is a net for catching days and is a scaffolding on which a worker can stand and labor with both hands at sections of time. A schedule is a mockup of reason and order, willed, faked and so brought into being. It is a piece and a haven set into the wreck of time. It is a lifeboat on which you find yourself decades later still living. Each day is the same so you remember the series afterward as a blurred and powerful pattern. How powerful this quote is from Annie Dillard. It's so inspiring it's one that has stuck with me over the years because I think we lose sight of the very simple and plain truth that what we do on a day to day basis is what we are doing with our lives in large. It's what we do on a day to day basis that we remember in years from now and that people know us by. The things that we are doing today echo tomorrow and we should understand this in our day to day lives. Annie's quote also includes this information, this concept about a schedule, about how it holds together. The fragmented concept of time for us because time is so difficult for us to understand and so we create these schedules with our time so that we can understand it better. But what I want for you to do today is to hold on to the significance of what you choose to spend your time on. And the reason why I want you to do this is because I think it is through that understanding of significance of your time that you begin to be able to take a step back and look at your overly busy life or you look at your overly crowded inbox or your really busy morning where you don't have time to do the things that you really want to do. You take a step back and you realize that you have no time to do the things that you want to do. Well, now is all that you actually have today is making up your life and if you want to do something with your life, then today is the first day to start doing that thing. Now, am I saying that you need to go out and quit your job? If ultimately that's what you want to do in life, absolutely not. Am I actually even saying that you need to quit your job in the long term? No, that's not the point of this. The point is to understand that what you are doing today is not a preparation for your life. Your life is not going to occur only in the future. Your life is occurring right now. Your life is occurring as you are listening to me talk right now. And so if you can grab a hold of the significance of today, I think that you will make better choices that you'll understand the consequences of your choices and the importance of time, the importance of how you spend that time because if you're only doing what Annie says if you're only standing on a scaffold of a schedule, if you're only sticking to that schedule, then you'll find yourself decades later looking back and thinking what in the world have I done with my time? What am I doing with my time? Now, this episode doesn't just go for developers. So I hope that if you are not a developer and you're listening to this that you can connect with the underlying message here, and that is to understand the importance of today, understand the importance of time because today is your life. What you do with your days, how you spend your days is of course, simply logically what you do with your time in each and every day, including today. That is how you spend your life. We're going to take a quick sponsor break and then I'm going to tell you one way that you can be more mindful of your time on a day to day basis. So let's take a quick sponsor break and then I'll be right back with the rest of the show. What if you could learn to build anything in one month? Well, with one month.com you can just ask any one of the 20,000 students who have learned to code on one month.com by building real websites and applications complete with payment systems, security solutions, and full stack deployment. You can start without any prior experience in just 15 minutes a day for 30 days all online. That's because one month hyper focuses on applied techniques that you use immediately in the apps you are building as part of the courses. One month's courses are the easiest way to learn new tech skills, including Ruby on Rails, Python, content marketing, growth hacking, and more. And the best part is if you get stuck, there's always someone there to help you out while you learn. Yes, that's a real person not an automated computer. So enroll now at one month.com, front slash Developer Tea and get 25% off your first month. Now normally access to all courses cost $99 and access to one course usually costs $49, but with the special URL you get full access for just $74 or one course for $37. That's less than $3 a day, or if you do a single course, it's just over $1 a day. enroll now for 25% off your first month at one month.com, front slash Developer Tea. So how can you be more mindful of the time that you spend on a day to day basis? Well, first we have to understand kind of the fundamental ways that we see time. We can see time very elastically. This is why you can look at your day or your week and say, wow, it seems like it was such a long week or it seems like it was such a long day. And we have phrases like time flies when you're having fun. These kinds of things, they go against the truth of time, which is that time doesn't actually change. It's just our perception of time that changes. So one simple thing that you can do that will force your brain to better take advantage and understand and experience time is to take a different way home every day. Now, I know that seems really, really simple. And if you work from home, then there's there are other ways of handling this. Perhaps you take a walk and each day take a different route. And again, this seems like a really crazy kind of weird hack. And I'm not one for doing life hacks necessarily unless they work. But this one actually goes to the core of the way that our brain works. We actually take shortcuts in our brains. We start understanding patterns and those things become run of the mill. They become really normal. They become like that scaffold that Annie Dillard was talking about in her quote. And to break our brains out of that cycle. Sometimes we have to do something entirely different. Even if that's something that is very different is is minuscule is very small. For example, my wife, she she very often changes the way that our house is decorated. And in that way, we are experiencing a different thing each day. Our brain is grasping something new every day. And that gives us a little bit more of an anchor. Instead of having to scaffold ourselves up in a schedule, we are scaffolding ourselves up in real change in real things that are happening around us. Rather than allowing our brains to take those shortcuts that it so naturally and efficiently does. So take a new way home from work today or take a walk that you've never taken before. These are very simple ways that you can begin to understand the importance of time and how each day plays into your life. Thank you so much for listening to Developer Tea. If you'd like to reach out to me, you can reach me on Twitter at Developer Tea. Or you can email me at developertea@gmail.com. Again, my name is Jonathan. I have a Twitter account, by the way. It's at Jake Trail. I don't mention it very often on the show, but you can follow me there as well. Subscribe to the show if you don't want to miss future episodes of Developer Tea. And until next time, enjoy your tea.