There’s more time than life.

Old Spanish saying, quoted by Dr. Ken Atchity

Time is a funny thing, and I mean that quite literally. As Alan Alda once famously said, tragedy plus time equals comedy. Even if it isn’t the punchline, I’ve heard jokes where the setup is almost as hilarious as the payoff. Which, to me, means that time is inherently funny – both in a comedic and ain’t-it-kooky sort of way.

I watched the video below this past weekend and since leaving the house has become frowned upon these days, I’ve had plenty of time to think about it. It also doesn’t hurt that last week was a bit of a bust for me in terms of productivity since everyone’s normal routines have been thrown into a cocked hat and trying to sort out where business is heading made for a natural pause. However, that’s not a great way to keep living.

What’s interesting to me is how Dr. Atchity’s thoughts on using time fit in with something I picked up from filmmaker Robert Rodriguez – staying in a creative flow by always having a couple projects going. It puts a damper on the notion of the tortured artist waiting around for inspiration, but then again, since that usually leads to a whole pile of nothing in the best case and madness in the worst case, I’m not too upset about that.

The part that’s truly fascinating for me was the idea that in considering work and time, we mistake which is finite and which is infinite. I’ve usually thought of there always being more time, so I need to manage the work – which is wrong. Maybe there’s plenty of time in a cosmic sense, but I only have a small piece of it. On the other hand, there’s always more work to be done, and not just “work” as in the stuff your boss dumps on your desk each week. There’s always more music to compose, books to write, movies to make, pictures to paint, etc. The trouble is, we only have so much time to do it in – we’ll actually never get done with the work. The idea that we could is a fallacy and a particularly foolish one at that.

Which brings me back to my routines and approach to each day. I’ve become a to-do list kinda guy over the last couple years because it seemed my work didn’t lend itself to regulation by the hour. Maybe it’s time to revisit that idea and start managing my time better instead of trying to manage the work.