Americans simply obsessed with punctuality. Well, we catch one of them and stole his watch. All watches. And on the week. And then ask TELL: What’s it like — to live not knowing what time it is in surrounded by people who check the time every minute.
"SOLDIER SLEEPING — SERVICE GOES" in my case it can be paraphrased «Brian is sleeping — time goes by»: even at night I regularly look at the clock. Waking up to turn over, I touch your phone, and the light of its screen as a prison searchlight cuts the darkness of the night 3:32. Two hours later, I again emerges from sleep feel for the iPhone and again checks whether slept Service.
By the time I get to the office in the morning, I checked the time dozens of times: the clock in your phone, the clock on the microwave, watch on TV, in the plate … I think that in the car, I’m looking at the clock more frequently than the speedometer.
I may not have paid attention to it, if the Men’s Health has offered to conduct an experiment: I need a week to stay Man Out of Time. No hours and in general any device showing time. According to the plan I have to wake up when I want, to come to work when I decide that it’s time to go home, and when I would think that’s enough for today. In theory, if I’m going to rely on the natural rhythms of life, my body itself will work like a clock — will take the headache out of lack of sleep, release stomach problems due to the fact that I eat at lunchtime, and not when it is necessary, — in short, my whole life is adjusted to not under the ticking of the mechanism, and under my personal needs.
It is believed that the time away our freedom: «From the first wake-up call the morning of the rule of our lives — says psychologist Betty Phillips, who often advises its clients on the stress associated with timing. — In the end it becomes a bong-fight with a clockwork that ticks in our head and body. «
Take, for example, Brazil.
In this country, «meet at 4» can mean anything — from midnight to never. A report issued in 2011, Pan American Health Organization report says that high blood pressure in adult Brazilians rarer than the inhabitants of the United States, where punctuality is valued as highly as apple pie and Oprah Winfrey. Researchers from Northwestern University say that there is a direct correlation: the concern of time gives rise to impatience — a permanent internal stress, which leads to hypertension. Another study shows that the high pace of life and increased price minute push people to unhealthy habits such as drinking and smoking, which help to make a break in the last race second.
"I think that life would be much nicer if we had this morning got up with the sun, eating when hungry, working at peak efficiency, and went to bed when we feel sleepy, regardless of the time «, — says the British expert on sleep Neil Stanley who has devoted much of the past 30 years, studies of stress.
I’m starting to test his theory on Sunday evening. I ask my wife to take an oath to keep secret from the time I have for the next week and cleans your home from the clock — even with a mobile phone has to leave. Then I lean back against the pillows, and wait for departure to the desert to sleep melting as in the paintings of Dali’s clocks.
I recover the position of his head on a pillow.
I roll pas right.
Then comes the thought: «How will I know when it’s time to wake up? What if I will stay too long in the shower? Will I have time to have breakfast or better to buy a sandwich on the way? Do I have to rush to the office or I can get slowly? «
I do not know how much time passed until the moment when I finally fell into a fitful sleep. I’m sure I’m just that woke up, as usual, often, only the clock could not see why anxiety immediately returned.
When I finally woke up, I was in a time of complete disorientation. On a normal day, I would click on the «defer» to the alarm clock and enjoy a few minutes in the twilight of the room, feeling safe to delayed ringing. However, this morning I immediately threw a blanket, quickly took dupg, ate a couple of toasts and ran to the car.
The first hint that something is wrong, I got when pulled into the underground parking lot at work. In front of me it presented itself completely empty room as if in a movie about zombies, in which the world was only one person. The same picture I saw, and when he got up on the floor: through the glass door looking at me strange dark office.
Do not go to the back — I came in, turned on the light, and first of all dealt with the clock in the workplace: the part of the tape stuck to the monitor, which is usually displayed while, then turned on the computer and got down to business. Colleagues there soon.
I was jealous of them? On the contrary — I enjoyed the tranquility, not to mention a sense of pride in the fact that for the first time in his life turned on the lights in the office in the morning. Case and another strange thing. Normally, before to get to work, I’m doing the ritual pulling, I go out for coffee, check e-mail, Twitter, Facebook, a couple of newspaper sites. And in that day I will immediately get to work: for me, the time does not exist, and therefore there is nothing to delay.
The next day I got up early again. Again I parked in an empty parking pas and plunged into silence still dark office.
Gradually I discovered that already guided in time and without a clock.
The sun, for example, sits down, I figured, at about 9 pm, a garbage truck arrives for tanks at 7 am, and a neighbor walking a dog at 7:30. I kind of … going through the motions of time, wondering not only how quickly I adapted to this new existence, but also by how nice it turned out.
What is happening reminds me of my childhood, when I knew it was time to go home, because the sun was setting, and not because it said the clock. I got a whole feel more calm, less stifled, more free.
When I later discussed this, I thought, with the stunning fact a professor of psychology at California State University in Fresno Robert Levine, he is not surprised: «I feel that time flows calmly, when I look at my watch — he said. — I’ll supervise time, as opposed to depending on schedules, chilling others. The obsession with time, will not give anything good. » However, between Levine and myself a big difference. He — his own master, and I have a commitment to time to his family, to colleagues, to my cat, finally. I could live on its internal clock, but they — no. «Do you have any idea what time it is?» — I asked the wife of the evening, and it was clear that her irritation overshadowed the irrelevance of this issue.
It became more difficult to perform routine assignments, for example, had to wonder if I have time in the pharmacy before closing. Not to mention the fact that I am completely lost the opportunity to meet with someone. My friends in basketball, of course, do not beat me for being late to the game, but made it clear that I — punctuality shit. And I do not blame them.
It was just luck that the week of the experiment I did not have to fly anywhere or take medications on schedule.
Avoid any clues about the exact time — is like going on a diet completely exclude certain product group: any time you can, and hold out, but in the long run everything will be bleak. So it is best to exclude only some clues.
In Brazil, as they say Levine, family members are willing to wait two hours before concluding that someone is late for the birthday child. I am sure we will start screaming children, clowns packing their noses, and mother to boil with rage much earlier.
We may be better without a clock, but the fact that our culture revolves around them. The solution finally abandoned play these games — a dead end. However, on the way there, you can learn a lot. On Monday night — the last night of my timeless — I never woke up and slept just fine. This could and finish the story, but I can not say that in the morning I overslept.
After a few laps around the parking lot crammed I hurried to have a full office, worrying that late for a morning meeting. I have attached a pass threw the bag on the chair and ran to the meeting room in the full confidence that I was waiting for an evil look superior.
Inside, I saw no one. The meeting was canceled. All the worry was for nothing. Sitting at my desk, I peeled off a piece of paper that covered the clock on the monitor and looked at them. The next time I did it only in the evening. Yes, back in the time of my life, but to be his slave, as before, I’m not going. I am here and now. And that’s enough for me.