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Questions about how you use your time.

1. Have you noticed the more engaged you are in an activity, the faster or more timelessly time seems to pass?

2. When a deadline is approaching, do you get a lot done? I did when an airport boarding gate was closing and I got more done than seemed possible, dashing to the correct terminal (having gone to the wrong one).

3. When you approach a deadline such as the ending time of a written examination, are you able to create and write prose more quickly than earlier?

4. When a musical instrument player is required to perform a sequence of notes with great rapidity, failure would seem not infrequent but does this occur less often than you would predict from bio-mechanical and neurological considerations?

5. Are you surprised when your performance ‘goes right on the night?’ Rehearsal enables automaticIty and this makes great performances possible, yet rehearsal is seldom conducted under conditions of time and activity as demanding as the performance.

6. Is your greatest success when optimal achievement occurs consciously as a series of ‘in the moment’ episodes?

7. Do you find you achieve most when you have a definite, achievable, continuous and decomposable goal?

8. When your performance is totally focussed on a goal in your brain, is it sometimes timeless because the brain has its own time?

Many people want more of their personal performance time under their own control. In my novel ‘Time is Gold’ a marathon runner and her boyfriend investigate answers for the questions above. She learns to control her own time using time dilation to exploit endurance conditions in extreme-flow. Publication is planned for November 2020.


The time your skills develop in should be your own. A performer’s personal time is not the same as other time conventions.

Adoption of a universal system of time measurement has enabled anyone with a timepiece to coordinate their activities to coincide with anyone else anywhere on Earth. Time measurement has logical units based on the caesium second defined in 1967. It is the duration of 9192631770 periods of the radiation corresponding to the transition between the two hyperfine levels of the ground state of the caesium-133 atom. They could have chosen something else.

Daylight and the passage of the sun into night provide sensations of passing time. For athletes and performers these indicators of passing time are too crude to use directly. Timepieces divide up our days into convenient units and display the record. It is worth noting that that in a year there are 31,556,926.08 seconds. They could have chosen other units.

There is evidence that the rate of our living is determined by our physiologies. Geoffrey West in his book Scale suggests animals of all species die after their hearts have made about two billion 2,000,000,000 heartbeats, the same number for elephants, humans and hummingbirds. This is very approximate, for besides aging, individuals’ deaths depend on various factors such as disease and accidents. Nevertheless, your heartbeat signifies the rate your lifetime is being consumed, measured by timepieces. Commonly the rate is 1 beat per second, or 60 BPM. It is interesting to note that champion marathoners have sometimes had resting heart rates at repose (RHR) of 30 or lower. Humans live at different rates.
Our metabolisms are similar to each other and it might be inferred that everyone’s cells march to the same drumbeat as they convert nutrients into energy, so that the passing of a clock second has the same implications for everyone. It doesn’t. The rate of cell diffusion of nutrients and the release of energy proceeds at rates determined by how tissues are controlled to function in the respective organs. Passing time could be calculated from an aggregate of rates of movement over distances, expressed externally in the speed of the performer. It isn’t. The time that passes is of the performer’s own making and derives nothing from clock crystals, pendulums or Earth rotations.
If the performer has time-efficient body processes, their external time could be competitive.

Accurate timepieces are abundant and cheap. It is likely they are being overused to measure performance speed. A problem is that when a person has a time schedule, they might not behave as well as they would otherwise. In 1959 Chris Bannister broke the 4 minute mile record that runners had striven to achieve for the previous decade. Within 3 years afterwards, about 30 runners ran below 4 minutes. It is possible that the record placed a ceiling on their running, until Bannister removed it.

When you are performing, the number of vibrations of a caesium crystal in a timepiece has absolutely no effect on your physical rate.
You can perform as fast as you are physically able and want to. Your body has no maximum speed and clock time should not limit your physical rate.

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