Matt Danzico has taken on a year-long project to explore how new experiences affect his perception of time with The Time Hack:
An experiment aimed at exploring whether our perception of time is influenced by our actions. [I]t aims to test whether time itself is flexible and whether our brains measure time differently than the clocks around us. …. Experts argue that when one engages in a new experience, that person’s perception of time differs from when that individual engages in a mundane or repetitive task.
So he’s set out to do just that. For 365 days:
I engage in a new experience to understand how my perception of time speeds and slows in relation to each event. Can I accurately gauge how long each new experience lasted? Do I remember the details of the new experiences more accurately than repetitive events during the day?
Every day, I’m surprised that I’m surprised looking over the recordings (and findings I can’t share with Matt as he’s prohibited from viewing the stopwatch and video recordings himself). Some favorites:
• Holding a dictionary in your hand to calm nerves when public speaking
• Learning some words in Swahili feels achievable
• Watching paint dry can, quite surprisingly, be pretty enjoyable to read about
• Gifting balloons to strangers
• And, the history of the common fork
While embarrassing at times that is sort of entirely the point. If uncomfortable and new, our perception of time differs from what would have been. Looking forward to the next 348 days.