A Cambridge University tutor once said he was looking for two things in prospective students. What he wanted was intellect and besides that an ability to manage time. This coupling of intellect and time management may strike you as an odd pairing of the old and the new. 8.1. D|d() The hours and minutes ticked away and you could either spend them wisely in the library, where they sometimes dragged a bit, or less wisely with friends, and then they skipped ahead.
But now we are hypnotized by time. 8.2. A|a() We live longer, we work fewer hours than we did a hundred years ago, and thanks to hoovers and microwaves, we can carry out our chores very quickly. We should have plenty of time left to enjoy a slow, peaceful life. Yet, like most people, rather than have a quiet breakfast with the family, I eat my sandwiches over the keyboard while I check my e-mails.
Edward Hallowell argues that we are now running so fast on our hamster wheels that we have lost sight of the things that really matter. But would slowing down really make things better? In my view, the pressure of time is usually a force for good. 8.3. F|f() Though I often complain about being too busy, the truth is that I find it quite exciting.
Man has always worried about life being too fast, even when it was going at a speed that we would now regard as a snail’s pace. So what is our problem with time? The answer isn’t to go on a time management course and be taught how to make lists of priorities. 8.4. B|b() In his bestseller Time: A User’s Guide, Stefan Klein suggests something different, that we develop a new culture of time, that we work in a rhythm that suits us.adapted from: www.bbc.co.uk
A. What is so odd is that we actually have more time than we’ve ever had before.
B. After a day or two of best behaviour we go back to our old ways – only worse, as we feel like failures.
C. As a first step to regaining control over time he suggests we should take off our watches and sit for half an hour doing nothing.
D. When I was a student, it didn’t occur to me that time was something that I could manage.
E. After what seemed like an eternity, I cracked and asked myself: ‘Do I really need to be doing this?’
F. It encourages us to get things done – and getting things done is surely satisfying.