Adding quality time to the clock

Making time for the things we want to do--creating space for memories and connections—can often feel challenging. But researchers are finding that if we think about time differently, we may find we have more of it.

The ancient Greeks had a similar theory – referring the chronological sense of time called “chronos” and a qualitative sense of it called “kairos.” Kairos, thought to be sacred, occurs whenever long lasting memories form.

Fast forward a few thousand years, and researchers are finding that the act of creation can involve a kind of alternative dimension known as flow. They define it as an “optimal state of consciousness where we feel our best and perform our best.” Concentration becomes so focused and heightened during flow that everything else falls away and time seems to slow down or speed up.

Go with the flow

Blogger, Michael Metcalf, has a few ideas to help us get more of this creative “flow”:

  1. Allow for downtime

    Spend some time doing nothing. Alex Soojung-Kim Pang observes in his book Rest how both downtime and uptime are necessary for creativity:

    “Some of history’s most creative people, people whose achievements in art and science and literature are legendary, took rest very seriously. They found that in order to realise their ambitions, to do the kind of work they wanted to do, they needed rest. The right kinds of rest would restore their energy while allowing their muse, that mysterious part of their minds that helps drive the creative process, to keep going.”

  2. Hack your calendar

    Being more mindful of time isn’t necessarily about fearing the ticking clock. Try setting aside an hour to think creatively, look for inspiration, doodle, or break from a routine.

  3. Question yourself

    Ask yourself some evaluative questions like, “Am I being inspired? Am I doing things differently?” A little bit of self-reflection can help you step out of your routine and coax serendipity.