Just take a moment and think about the following situations:
You’re watching a stand-up comedian and laugh at his well timed jokes in anticipation of what they might say.
Just before going to bed you normally set your alarm to wake up at 6 in the morning. However, one of those nights you forget to set the alarm and astoundingly wake up around 6 without the alarm.
You’re at work and are having a boring day and feel like time is barely passing by. Other times you’re having an awesome day at work and wonder where the time went so quickly.
While sitting in traffic during peak rush hour you notice traffic is coming to a crawl. As you sit and wait, you’re frustration starts to build up.
What did you notice as a common characteristic among these four scenarios?
What I see is that they are caused by the human tendency to sub-consciously time everything we do. In the first scenario, the comedian employs a technique called comic timing where they pause for a just a beat to enhance the impact of their joke. This only works as we’re timing that pause in our mind with the expectation of a high impact statement. In the second scenario, the ability to wake up around the same time as the expected alarm’s set time showcases our how we time things within our mind. I should mention that this timing without an alarm is not a sure-fire technique, otherwise we wouldn’t need alarm clocks at all! For the workplace scenario & the situation where we are stuck in traffic, the passage of time is very apparent as we start to feel the effects of this timing in our emotions & feelings. Sometimes the timing leads us to feel bored, sometimes we feel excited and other times we might feel anger or frustration.
The next time you’re watching your favourite comedian, or if your stuck in traffic or you’re having a great day at work – just think about how passage of time impacts those situations and the emotions that follow.