Today I discovered it is National Procrastination Week 2013. It started yesterday, so it is appropriate that it notified me sometime after it started.

Also appropriate is that I didn’t manage to finish my February post on Time, on time. I admit it, I kept putting it off until it was too late to post while it was still February. Nothing like a little virtual time travel to put the post back in its place in time.

To make up for my tardiness, I am celebrating National Procrastination Week right now.



Time and I have an interesting relationship. Some would find it perplexing, but I find it perfectly reasonable and normal. This is most evident by the myriad of clocks I encounter on any given day. Take, for example, my typical work day.

My alarm goes off at 4:00 AM. That would be local time, as in local to my bedroom. I usually hit snooze twice before silencing the alarm for good on the third ring at 4:14. (Most alarm clocks seem to have a nine-minute snooze interval, but mine is seven.) If I’m extra tired, I go for an extra snooze, giving me until 4:21.

Dragging myself out of bed, I put the bows of my glasses in my mouth and grab my phone. The glasses go in my mouth because it’s faster and easier than putting them on. Besides, at 4:something in the morning it is so dark that whether my vision is corrected is irrelevant. That’s where my trusty HTC HD7 comes in. Its 4.3-inch capacitive touch display lights my path well enough for my uncorrected eyes to see any obstacles that may lay in my path. (It does have a flashlight app, but the light is bright enough to rival the sun. More than a bit much for 4:something in the morning.)

The shower is a dangerous place, time-wise. Especially when my sleep deprivation is a little on the high side. A quick check of my phone drags me kicking and screaming into “real time.” If it reads before 4:30, I am doing OK. 4:35 or later means I probably visited la-la land while standing motionless in the spraying water, and I need to move with a purpose.

Fully dressed, next stop is the kitchen, a trichronal wonderland. The microwave and stove are close in time to each other and real time. The clock over the sink is somewhere between five and ten minutes ahead of the appliances. Yet, somehow I manage to know what time it is by looking at any one of them.

Then there is my car, the inside of which I am convinced exists a bubble of time that is always about 15 minutes into the future. No matter how you set the clock, it creeps until it settles on 15 minutes ahead of real time. And then it stays that much ahead. I am grateful that my car’s clock behaves this way. If I am running a few minutes late, by car time, I will still arrive at my destination early.

During the day my watch keeps me enveloped in a tiny bubble of time about eight minutes in the future. The offset from real time varies gradually farther and closer to real time. I tend to look at it as math practice. I am now really good at subtracting eight from another number.

All other clocks I regularly use are computers, all synced to real time by an internet time beacon. My phone, mentioned above. My laptop in the guise of a tablet. My workstation and assorted servers at work. These all temporarily bring me back in sync with real time.

I prefer to be a little out of sync, a few minutes ahead, so I can see what’s coming before most everyone else.

Fast-forward Friday

I spent most of the week at work wishing for Friday afternoon to be here Right Now. My coworkers joined in the wishing.

We have been handed three projects, each with overly aggressive timelines, each due about the same time. Juggling everything is mentally taxing, and extra hours spent working every week is physically taxing. This has been going on for almost three months now.

A couple Thursdays ago I was so exhausted I became ill and had to go home. I went straight to bed. Head met pillow, and I was out before I could draw another breath. My wife told me later she was worried because I didn’t move at all the entire six hours I was asleep. Not exactly what you’d call a good work-life balance.

Last week the same happened to one of my workers. We may work a few hours over the weekend, but generally, by the close of Monday, Tuesday at the latest, we are quite ready for Friday.

Today, the end of the week day was here at last. But today we all wanted it to last. Crazy talk! Except for one key feature about this weekend: Easter. Who wants to do any work on weekend, looming deadlines or not?

And yet today, the hours flew by. I checked the clock, expecting to see about 11:00. To my surprise, 1:15. Where did more than two hours go?

Time accelerated as the day wore on. Suddenly it was time to go, but I wasn’t ready. I will have to finish my task for the day over the weekend. Grrr!

The speed of time snapped back to normal, after crawling at an agonizing pace during my trip home. Time’s way of effecting its own work-life balance, I suppose.