Clock time versus mind time

Time’s moving too fast AND too slow.

I hate this feeling. I always feel like times passed me and I’m struggling to catch up with everything around me. If by chance I’m not feeling this, then I’m stuck in agony waiting for time to pass. It’s the worst.

When I think about this whole college process, time is moving too slow. I’m ready to know where I’m going already and to stop spending time stressing out over it.

When it comes to actually leaving for college, that times coming way too soon. Everytime my mom shows me something that would be cute in my dorm or starts buying stuff I’ll need in college, it seems like days turn into minutes and the next seconds going to be graduation and then to drop off. That’s scary.

It’s not only just for leaving for college that makes my time too fast. It’s getting older in general. I doesn’t seem right to me that I’m about to leave high school. Time moves so fast on me. I just don’t feel eighteen. I remember the circle time rug from kindergarten. I can still remember conversations with my friends left in time at recess. How am I possibly this old? It all happened too soon.

But still, I know my time at North Penn is up. It’s weird because its like I can feel it in my bones. I can just tell it’s time to move on to the next part of my life, but one second I feel like I’m being rushed there or I couldn’t get there soon enough. I know time is moving steadily, but it never feels like it is for me. It’s rare for me to ever feel like I’m moving in sync with time as it passes.

My perception of time is the apparent issue. It all has to do with clock time versus mind time.

Refer to my picture above. The angel clock is clock time. Everybody runs on it. Whether your time zones behind mine or not, this time is standard. Sixty seconds to a minute, sixty minutes to an hour, twenty-four to a day, we all know this. It’s good, its constant.

Now my mind time. The devil. That clock with the horns and all the time out of whack. A perfect depiction showing how crazy time is for me personally.

The reason my (or anyone else’s) perception of time (mind time) isn’t ticking in time with clock time is because they flow in different rates. Your stressors, age, and sleep among other things determine the flow of your mind time. So let’s see what has my mind time literally the furthest thing from clock time. Its my perception.

Although clock time is persistent, mind time is not. Adrian Bejan, mechanical engineering professor at Duke University, has explained this phenomenon. He explains that clock time is measurable, while every person’s mind time is different because of their perception.

Your mind time has to do with your mind’s eye. Your mind’s eye is in control of processing mental images. We all perceive these images differently, especially depending on your saccadic eye motions. These movements all occur unconsciously. Every few seconds, your eyes go through this movement and process the stimuli around you. Everyone’s unique sense of processing dictates how fast or slow their time is moving for them.

Along with this individual processing, Bejan explains that age and fatigue affect people’s processing and mind time. When we are younger, time seems to move slower overall because we experience new mental images and stimuli, but as we age and stimuli and mental images come in slower, time moves slower. Feeling tired slow downs saccadic eye motions so that the brain cannot process mental images and stimuli. This stretches out activities we are involved in and makes them feel longer and harder to get through.

Even though it may feel like I’ll never catch up or lineup with clock time, there are things I (and anyone else) can do to not feel like I’m constantly ticking out of time. Bejan passes on the advice to sleep well and live clean to help alter our perceptions for the better.

To read more on clock time and mind time, read this article that helped me.