Daily Archives: April 30, 2008

The Tyranny of the Clock


Break Free from the Tyranny of the Clock

Why should you change things? Because the clock is meaningless — we follow it without really realizing why. We follow it because we’ve been raised to believe we should, and because those who control us (bosses, corporations, schools, etc.) set schedules we must follow. The clock, then, is a means to control us — and that, in my book, is as good a reason to break free from it as any.

For tens of thousands of years, human beings didn’t have clocks. They lived, amazingly, by the sun and the moon and seasons and the needs and rhythms of their bodies.

The clock is a very very recent invention, and even more recent is our modern society’s slavish adherence to the dictatorship of the clock.

Only very recently have we been forced to work from 8 to 5, and to go to school and follow a very rigid class schedule. Only very recently have we become obsessed with tracking and making use of every minute, so that we have things to do when we’re waiting for other things to happen.

Only recently did we begin to lose our humanity, begin to lose the art of conversation and the art of listening to our bodies, begin to lose sight of what’s really important and begin to become robots.

I’m as guilty as anyone else, but as I simply my life I begin to question the culture that surrounds me and wonder why it is that I feel so pressured to do things so quickly, by a timeline or schedule set by others, to be so productive when what I really want is to be happy.

Have you ever felt that way? I know I’m not alone.

I have a solution, and it’s not original I’m sure but it surely isn’t as common as it should be: break free from the clock. Get in touch with the rhythms of life, of your body and of nature. Be more relaxed and reject the notion that time rules us.

The Benefits of Being Free of Clockhood

Now, I’m not saying that we should throw our clocks and watches away (though I don’t own a watch) … I’m not saying we should all quit our jobs and go live in the woods. I know that my reality is different from most people, as I’m my own boss — but ask yourself, is it possible for you to be your own boss? And if not, is it possible at least to find a job where you can set your own schedule? For many people, it is possible. For others, you won’t be able to live all the tenets of this manifesto, but you can change smaller things, here and there.

Article continues here.

Reblog via Zen Habits | hat tip Jakob Lodwick

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