book, books, personal development, planning, productivity, time management, time usage

About the world obsessed with time


I’ve recently read Timekeepers: How the World Became Obsessed with Time by Garfield (available here) and the book contains some really interesting anecdotes; for instance, about French who tried to implement the idea of using 10-hour, instead of 12-hour, clocks. The idea was that all 24 hours would be squeezed into a day-and-night-time period of ten hours. How? Simply there would be more minutes in each hour. This idea hasn’t found many enthusiasts though. Clocks are an old invention and we are so used to the usual style and schedule of hours and minutes that we find it difficult to accept any modification of them.


Sometimes I think about time usage and discuss it with others because it is strictly related to productivity, but until very recently I didn’t really pay much attention as to how OBSESSED the modern world is with TIME.

  • Time is precious
  • Me time
  • A race against time
  • Have a hell of a time
  • Have the time of your life
  • Time is money
  • Ahead of one’s time

… and lots of other phrases that we use very often indicate that time has become something nearly as significant in our lives as food, air or feelings.

Teams who work on updating Oxford Dictionaries decided to carry out a comprehensive analysis of the English language to check what words are the most commonly used. If we ignore words such as “the”, “of”, and some linking words that we use in sentences a lot, and focus purely on nouns, then there is the interesting part!


The most commonly used English word is … TIME! (more about it HERE )

“That’s unbelievable!” I thought. I know that everyone, particularly in Western developed countries, is kind of fixated about being on time, controlling or managing their time and so on BUT… really?! When and how did we get to the point where we use this word more often than a lot of other significant words which describe our everyday life?

Just if you are curious  what are the rest of the 10 top most commonly used words in the English language… Here we go: person, year, way, day, thing, man, world, life and … hand (?). I understand we use words such as “thing” or “life” often, but “hand”? Another little surprise 😉

Time-management books and articles are incredibly popular nowadays and yet I don’t really believe that we can manage or change our time. Do you? We can surely manage our tasks, activities and life. That’s why I prefer to word it rather as time usage or planning one’s day/time. However, I know that ‘time management’ is a phrase used EVERYWHERE so for simplicity sometimes I’d use it as well (or when I use tags, for example,so people can find my tweet or blog easier).

Do you use or have you ever tried any productivity/time-management tips and techniques? What’s your favourite one?


5 thoughts on “About the world obsessed with time”

    1. Yes, I’m in the same boat. You know I have a calendar on my fridge where I put all most important things and I think I’d be REALLY lost without it haha 😉 It is quite scary actually how busy our lives are and how quickly we live.. but I try to focus on positive side and think of what can be done about it to manage it better rather than worrying about something I cant change much.. Thank you for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Great article – who knew the most popular English noun is time? Yikes! One of the things that I use often is the Pomodoro – 25 minute spurts especially on boring or uninteresting work. Usually 25 minutes in I’m ok with going longer and I can kind of trick myself into “come on, you can do it, it’s only 25 minutes”. 99% of the time it works!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I tried pomodoro and I really liked it but I wasnt consistent enough. Im planning to start to use it again! Thanks! 🙂


  2. This was a fascinating post! I am incredibly guilty of being obsessed with time. My husband is the direct opposite and could really care less about time. He is always late and I am always early for everything! I would say we balance each other out but I just make it so we are not too late for events. I try to be organized because I always have doctors appointments and other important things that I have to remember. I use my calendar on my tablet and phone for important dates and appointments. I think I take my time management to an extreme and it might be unhealthy because it adds SO much stress to my life but without it I would miss important appointments. So maybe it is a catch 22. Thank you for sharing this!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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