Introduction to the Mastering Linear Time Workshop
This workshop examines linear time—the way we experience time in the West. "If feels like our lives have turned into a grueling race toward a finish line we never reach." (Jay Walljasper, editor of Utne Reader)
We have a habit of rushing, which has been called hurry sickness, and time poverty, the feeling that we don’t have enough time. These mental and physiological habits strongly affect our health and well-being. Dr. Stephan Rechtschaffen wrote, “I would say that 95 percent of the stress in our lives relates to our feeling of time poverty.”
And Dr. Larry Dossey wrote: “Many illnesses–perhaps most–may be caused either wholly or in part by our misperception of time. . . . I am convinced that we can destroy ourselves through the creation of illness by perceiving time in a linear, one-way flow.”
In this workshop, after seeing definitions of three types of time, you’ll practice a dozen exercises that are very effective for relieving time’s friction and relentless ﬂow. You'll learn a way of breathing that immediately relieves anxiety about time passing and begins to dissolve the associated physiological aspects of chronic dis-ease. You'll do this breathing exercise focusing on the second hand of a clock to see how your experience of time changes moment by moment, depending on your awareness and breathing. You'll watch moments as they flow by, and look between 'neighboring' moments to see if you can find additional moments. This opens up the rigid feeling of time passing, eliminates stress, and allows for an increase in productivity and creativity. Other exercises focus directly on various aspects of the way we normally feel time passing, gradually breaking up the rigid habit while improving our sense of well-being.
This workshop is set up for individual, but the workshop can also be presented for groups either onsite or via webinar. For group workshops, there will usually be four or five two-hour sessions at times arranged to fit participants’ schedules. Private coaching is also available, and DVDs of the workshop are available for those who wish to study/practice offline.
Click the following link to go to the page where you can access a free introduction to the Mastering Linear Time workshop, or to purchase the comnprehensive self-directed course: MLT course materials.
Instructor and course developer: Steve Randall, PhD, is a peak performance researcher, psychologist, and meditation instructor who helps people eliminate time-stress while optimizing results. Since 1985, Dr. Randall has taught cutting-edge time mastery methods to thousands of people in 90 workshops in the US and abroad. Co-founder of the Time, Space, and Knowledge Association, Dr. Randall has published the most complete time mastery resources online at www.tskassociation.org and www.manage-time.com. He wrote Results in No Time, and Flow, Glow, and Zero, which describe the zone of peak performance and propose that we can ﬁnd the peaceful, yet most productive ‘zone’ at the center of our whirlwind of activities.
“Today, for individuals as well as for members of the workforce, shifting rhythm is essential not only to physical and mental well-being, but also to improved productivity.” (Dr. Rechtschaffen)
A Poll: What causes time pressure?
Though we're all too familiar with time pressure these days, there seems to be a lot of confusion about the source or cause of time pressure. I have researched issues with time since 1985, but would like to survey a general population for their perspectives on what is causing the time pressure that they feel.
What do you think is the source of time pressure? Choose all the sources below that you think contribute to time pressure. You can also add your own choice. Instant results will be shown to you when you click the "Vote" button below. In December I will post the overall results of this survey on this webpage.
After doing the survey, if you would like the overall results of the survey in December, or if you would like a free article on the 'normal' experience of linear time flow and how to deal with its pressures and anxiety, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Where's the workshop?
Click here to go to the course: MLT course materials.
"Unfortunately, the poor use of our time does not make us fat, and so its effects are less visible. That may be why the problem has not yet been given national priority. Nevertheless, it can make us as sick as overeating. Ulcers, heart attacks, and cancers are created in the furrows of stress . . . . In a sense, this situation is much more serious, because many more people suffer from stress than from obesity." (Servant-Schreiber, p. 31)
"Unless we consciously learn to control time in our lives, the stress we suffer will only get worse. We are at the mercy of all the messages in our society that tell us to go faster, do more, produce more, buy more . . . . Until we learn to control time consciously, our lives will continue to speed away from us . . . ." (Rechtschaffen, p. 14)
"It's as if we're poised at a crossroads as we approach the new century [this was written in 1990]. One road, dedicated to acceleration, is the familiar fast track. The other, committed to separating ourselves from that track, is aimed at getting us off the merry-go-round." (Hunt and Hait , p. 236) "We can stay on the merry-go-round as it continues to accelerate, or we can step off and set our own pace." (Hunt and Hait , p. 244)
"We are building very fragile structures in time, and since this cycle not only repeats itself but also escalates in intensity, we and our structures do have a definite limit. Eventually, the pressures built up within our crowded space by a driving, uncontrollable time may become more than our knowledge can handle." (Tarthang Tulku, Dimensions of Thought, p. xx)
Before we run out of time, "The misuse of time in today’s society should lead to a 'time movement'.” (Rechtschaffen, p. 226)
Many athletes have spoken about being “'in the zone,' a place where there is no linear time and we are the complete masters of our bodies and of the sport itself." (Rechtschaffen, p. 162.)
But whether we're athletes or not, at any moment balance can be found within the undisturbed ‘eye’ of our whirlwind of activity. We can learn to find, and perhaps remain ‘within’, the most peaceful, yet most productive ‘zone’ at the center of our activities.
In the linear view, time flows like a conveyor belt that moves horizontally from past to present to future at the same unchangeable speed for all of us. (See Edward T. Hall, The Dance of Life (New York: Doubleday, 1983), pp. 78-9.) Time feels out of our control; we may feel some helplessness, and think we can only adapt to this 'reality'.
The conveyor passes through three rooms: past, present, and future. We're always in the present room--we take that for granted. We can't go into the future or past rooms because there seems to be an impenetrable divider between the rooms.
On the conveyor there is an apparently endless series of containers extending into the past on the one hand and into the future on the other.
The way we 'spend our time' is by putting our activities into the containers as the conveyor moves by us. These containers are all the same size, so we can put only so many activities in a given container, then that time is used up, and the container moves into the past. What was put into the containers moves farther and farther into the past, and doesn't seem to affect us. Wasting time is not filling the containers as they go by. Since we know that there are a limited number of containers that will pass by during our lifetime, we're anxious about not having enough time. Furthermore, since each container has the same size, what we can accomplish in any time period appears to be limited by the structure of time itself. Racing against the conveyor and trying to overfill containers can lead to overwhelm and burnout.