Time

“Lack of time becomes an instrument of oppression” - Trebor Scholz at 2014 New School Digital Labor conference.

Leisure

Management techniques

  • Getting Things Done (GTD)” - “a total work-life management system that transforms overwhelm into an integrated system of stress-free productivity. David Allen, inventor of the GTD methodology, is widely recognized as the world’s leading expert on personal and organizational productivity”
  • Pomodoro Technique - “a time management method developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s.[1] The technique uses a timer to break down work into intervals traditionally 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks” (Wikipedia)
  • Quantified Self movement - “to incorporate technology into data acquisition on aspects of a person's daily life”

Technology

Apps

  • Chronos - For iOS
      • “With Chronos, however, the idea is to have more of a “set it and forget it” type of experience when it comes to time-tracking. Plus, it’s meant for tracking time outside of work, too.”
      • “With Chronos, users can quickly see a breakdown of where and how they spent their day, and also watch how that changes over the weeks or months. If connected to a Facebook friend in the app, users will also be able to mark when they’ve been spending time with that person. You’ll also be able to get a sense of where you are in comparison with others, by comparing the output in generalized categories like “work” or “sleep,” for instance.”
  • Cold Turkey - “Use Cold Turkey to block sites like Facebook so that you can concentrate on studying.”
  • Focus@Will - “Music Scientifically Optimized to Boost Concentration and Focus”
  • Focus Booster - “a digital pomodoro timer. The desktop and HQ timers sync sessions to the web. Never fill out a timesheet again.”
  • Goalboost - a worker cooperative that produces software for time and billing
  • Google Calendar
  • ( Offtime ) - “helps you to unplug better, thanks to app blocking, communications filter and insights into your smartphone usage”
  • Project Hampster - For GNOME, open source. “Project Hamster is time tracking for individuals. It helps you to keep track on how much time you have spent during the day on activities you choose to track.”
  • RescueTime - “Runs securely in the background on your computer and mobile devices. Tracks time spent on applications and websites, giving you an accurate picture of your day. Gives you detailed reports and data based on your activity.”
  • SelfControl - “a free and open-source application for Mac OS X that lets you block your own access to distracting websites, your mail servers, or anything else on the Internet”
  • Toggl - “With Toggl you track time in real time. You never lose a minute of your billable time. If you forget to switch it on, then enter time later on. Organize your time by projects or tags, and mark it as 'billable.' Toggl is built for teams.”

Clocks and watches

  • Friedman, Uri. “A Brief History of the Wristwatch.” The Atlantic. May 27, 2015.
    • Emergence in war: Second Boer War and WWI as necessity.
    • Chinese military now bans Apple watch as being problematic for surveillance
    • McCrossen: “If you look at pawn records from the 19th century in the U.S., about 40 to 50 percent of all pawned items were pocket watches”
    • McCrosen: “Maybe we’re so deeply saturated with the imperatives of clock time that we want to put it away,” she said. “Maybe we don’t want it on our wrist anymore. Maybe we don’t need it.”
  • Root, Jonathan. “How Fitbit Helps a Conservative Evangelical College Monitor Students’ Bodies For Christ.” Religion Dispatches. March 10, 2016.
    • “In 2015, Oral Roberts University (ORU), a four-year liberal arts Christian college in Tulsa, Oklahoma, began to require freshmen and transfer students to wear Fitbits as part of an introductory physical fitness course. Students are expected to walk at least 10,000 steps a day and record 150 minutes of physical activity—as measured by heart rate—each week. This accounts for twenty percent of their course grade. / Though the model being sold to students does not come equipped with GPS, some believe that ORU is infringing on students’ privacy. As it turns out, Fitbits can record calories burned during sex—which created a minor scandal in 2011 when users realized that their sexual activity could be discovered through a simple Google search. This puts ORU students in an awkward position, argues Keri Paul, since their university prohibits premarital sex.”
    • “As far back as the 1970s, ORU has embraced fitness tracking technology. Incoming students had to undergo a series of medical tests—including diet history, a dental exam, blood analysis and anthropometric measures— administered by the Human Performance Laboratory and Student Health Services.”

Bibliography

  • Gregg, Melissa. “Counterproductive: Towards mindful labor.” Abstract shared with the iDC email list. March 12, 2014.
    • “Affective capitalism is defined by the articulation of self-fashioning practices with a productivity imperative. We work on ourselves in order to be productive, but without an overarching referent or guide for our actions.”
    • “App services and pointers turn ordinary activities into objects of measurement - and hence adjustment and improvement”
    • “unlike religion, which makes an attempt to relate the individual to a larger whole, productivity isolates and sanctifies the individual. It elevates an elite class of worker beyond the concerns of the ordinary and the collective.”
    • “In the organization era, workers gained power and privileges through association with a firm. Career ambition was couched within the terms and the “social ethic” of a company and its standing within a community (Whyte 1956). By contrast, today's workers learn to manage themselves in proximity to a workplace that is felt to be omnipresent, even ambient”
    • “The story of productivity is the story of assembling the ideal subject of professional work in terms defined by machines.”
    • “This situation calls for a new kind of labor politics - what I call mindful labor. A politics of mindful labor alleviates the psychological impact of performative presence, requires periods of withdrawal, and summons collective means for resisting the alienating effects of digitally-mediated work.”
    • “Productivity apps materialize a mode of thinking that takes seriously the possibility of transcending the social. Such an aspiration has the effect of producing a hierarchical workplace in which trivial tasks can be delegated down to other, less powerful employees, whose inferior status prevents their recognition as colleagues.”
    • “This chapter makes connections between productivity applications – also known as “Getting Things Done” (GTD) apps – and the tradition of time management pedagogy that has developed in modern business culture over the past several decades. Both spheres have religious dimensions: I show how old ideas of confession, abstinence and salvation appear as rehabilitative marketing spin in services touted by GTD prophets today.”
    • “time management renders a wide expanse of convivial activities as traps or annoyances best avoided. In this sense, GTD espouses asociality as superiority. It draws together troubling philosophical legacies of exceptionalism in the guise of successful entrepreneurialism. In the networked context, productivity’s mandate is to obliterate what remains of voluntary sociability in the otherwise coercive networking context of the modern workplace”
    • “The GTD industry thus epitomizes the trend towards algorithmic living, in which data bits and code become the impetus for enlightened behavior.”
    • The urge to “create control” is paramount
    • “In its efforts to streamline out of existence not just distractions but the purportedly unimportant neediness of other people, GTD continues a legacy of thought that is content with the mission of elevating the status of some especially brilliant people above the struggles of others.”
    • “the pleasures of online life are acknowledged to be the problem in maintaining a healthy balance of activities. Within the framework of productivity, these users respond positively to forced deprivation.”
    • Compares the various strategies on offer to corresponding religious strategies: “the prevention model invokes a health moralism reminiscent of Catholicism with its prevailing metaphors of denial, restraint, asceticism, and sin”
    • “Productivity apps are the digital assistants increasingly required when the gendered labor of the secretary and the wife is not so easily available.”—“GTD allows us to appreciate the extent of the administrative and logistical labor once provided largely by women.”
    • “The notion of freedom GTD celebrates is, perversely, the freedom to work (Gregg 2007). In practice it typically means liberation from a raft of unrewarding labor that others must still perform.”
    • “the difference between professional and post-professional subjectivity”: “This is a work context in which prior versions of management surveillance are less obvious or necessary since the innate value of productivity is no longer questioned. It is no coincidence, I have been suggesting, that it is also a moment in which the commonsense tenets of individualism and freedom have become so embedded in technology design that a cooperative politics seems elusive.”
    • “GTD erases any need to question the overall structure determining which things are important”
    • Sees hope in feminist autonomist responses, a la Weeks
  • Gregg, Melissa. “The Productivity Obsession.” The Atlantic. November 13, 2015.
    • “One place to look for an answer: Apple’s App store, which, like Google Play, has an entire category of productivity tools. These software services include note-taking apps, brainstorming tools, and calendar assistants. With names like “Self Control,” “Omnifocus,” “Rescue Time,” even “Freedom,” productivity solutions offer liberation from as much as consolation for everyday demands.”
    • “Productivity techniques deliver an enhanced relationship to time by focusing only on what is important, maximizing opportunities for optimal work “flow.” In technology design, the ultimate user experience hinges on securing this state of uninhibited flow as quickly as possible.”
    • “Productivity tools offer to protect workers from the creep of jobs that lack clear beginnings and ends, whether in hours clocked or outputs produced.”

Time in general

  • Adam, Barbara. Time and Social Theory. Polity, 1990.
  • Adam, Barbara. “When Time Is Money: Contested Rationalities of Time in the Theory and Practice of Work.” Theoria 4 (2003).
  • Adam, Barbara. “Reflexive Modernization Temporalized.” Theory, Culture & Society (2003).
  • Adam, Barbara. Time. Polity, 2004.
  • Augustine, Confessions.
  • Brooks, David. “The Good Order.” The New York Times.
    • Connects orderliness with time with imperial geopolitics
  • Crary, Jonathan. 24/7: Late Capitalism and the Ends of Sleep. Verso, 2013.
  • Bloch, Ernst. The Principle of Hope.
  • Bloch, Ernst. The Spirit of Utopia.
  • Della Subin, Anna. “How to Stop Time.” The New York Times. September 26, 2014.
    • On procrastination
  • Dillard, Annie. For the Time Being. New York: Knopf, 1999.
  • Easwaran, Eknath. Take Your Time.
  • Eire, Carlos. A Very Brief History of Eternity.
  • Fromm, Erich. The Revolution of Hope.
  • Griffin, David Ray (editor). Physics and the Ultimate Significance of Time: Bohm, Prigogine, and Process Philosophy. Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 1985.
  • Griffiths, Jay. Pip Pip: A Sideways Look at Time.
  • Heidegger, Martin. Being and Time.
  • Heschel, Abraham Joshua. The Sabbath.
    • “Judaism is a religion of time aiming at the sanctification of time” (8) — ritual as an architecture of time
    • “the world has already been created and will survive without the help of man” [sic] (13)
    • labor as a means, rest as an end: “the climax of living” (14)
  • Kern, Stephen. The Culture of Time and Space, 1880-1918. Harvard University Press, 2003.
  • Kierkegaard, Soren. Repetition.
  • Kubler, George. The Shape of Time: Remarks on the History of Things.
  • Kundera, Milan. Slowness. 1996.
  • Le Goff, Jacques. Time, Work And Culture in the Middle Ages. University of Chicago Press, 1980.
  • Levine, Robert. A Geography of Time.
  • McEwan, Christian. World Enough & Time: On Creativity and Slowing Down.
  • Redhead, Steve. “Accelerated Modernity.” In Paul Verilio: Theorist for an Accelerated Culture. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2004.
  • Smolin, Lee. “Time and symmetry in models of economic markets.” arXiv.org. February 25, 2009.
  • Sussman, Rachel. The Oldest Living Things in the World. University of Chicago Press, 2014.
  • Sustaining Time - “Exploring the time of the new economics”
  • Zerubavel, Evitar. Time Maps: Collective Memory and the Social Shape of the Past. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003.
  • Zerubavel, Evitar. The Seven Day Circle: The History and Meaning of the Week. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1985.