12 Aug 2015 | News

What I do at 10:42

My alarm goes off. I’m not sure why I set it at 10:42am in the first place – maybe I put something in the oven, or said I’d call someone back in 20 minutes. It’s been going off at 10:42am every day for the last 6 months or so – recently I went to turn it off but then stopped myself. I realised that I had somehow found value in this somewhat arbitrary time.

I haven’t lost all of my marbles just yet, I promise.

What do I do when it goes off each day? I grab my phone and turn the alarm off. But I started to take note of where I was, what I was doing, how I was thinking, what I was focused on, among other things, each day at a specific time. Now, I’m not saying that I pull out a notepad and start making lists, reviewing goals, or making some discipline around it; and many days it is simply a press of a button and I move on with the day.

But other times, I do take a moment out. Life is busy – we once had all this time for tiny “mental holidays” during the day. In the past, waiting in queue was idle time – now it’s Facebook time. Sleep is capitalised and punctuated by checking a phone; as leisure time is similarly grammatically affected by any manner of things, all vying for attention. Where we once had default times in the day to briefly collect thoughts and experience shallow introspection, we now have no end of permanent distractions that permeate our lives not only from their incursion but also as a product of our own discretion.

A simple reminder that the time is 10:42am is, for me, a reminder that today is today, time is precious, and to be mindful of how time is spent. I think that’s why I’ve not switched it off. And if you think I’m a little crazy – that’s ok. I’m sure others do too.

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