The Illusion of Time in Game Theory

Foundational Principle for this Conversation on To explore how the effective use of time can give us greater access to our other core resources

Definition: Time – A continuous, measurable, progression of perceived existence. Among most groups time is defined as the past, present and future presented as a whole.


STUDENT: Why is an understanding of time and time management important to the Harrison Mentoring Process?

LEWIS: The ability to understand and when necessary manage and control time is a key element to creating love and freedom in life.


STUDENT: I am familiar with the term “Time Management.” Can you discuss this concept?

LEWIS: Time management integrates a number of techniques that aim to increase the effectiveness of a person in keeping commitments while getting the things done that need to be done.


STUDENT: Please explain this in greater detail.

LEWIS: Time is not a physical thing. It is only a tool of measurement.


STUDENT: So, though time is only a concept, can one still learn to manage it?

LEWIS: Yes. All tasks require a certain amount (measurement) of time. The less time a person has to complete a task, the more his or her decisions will be based on urgency. The more urgency an individual requires, the higher his or her emotional and physical cost (stress) is going to be. The goal is to reduce urgency, and thus manage time more effectively. An abundance of time gives you the freedom to make choices of low risk. You can actually create a system for scheduling actions that will maximize effectiveness and productivity.


STUDENT: What are some tools or techniques I can apply to maximizing the value of time?

LEWIS: To-do-lists, time planners, calendars, effective budgeting, the setting of deadlines on projects, daily meditation, priority planning and goal management are among the most popular examples of time management strategies. For me, the most important tool is the ability to distinguish between my wants and needs?


STUDENT: Please address wants and needs.

LEWIS: When our needs are being met we have a clearer sense of time as a tool for living well. When our wants and needs seem to be the same, we may begin to experience a false sense of urgency. This kind of thinking creates suffering and unnecessary struggle


STUDENT: How does one manage needs as they relate to time?

LEWIS: The key is to handle urgent affairs in a timely manner.


STUDENT: And what about non-urgent responsibilities?

LEWIS: One must integrate non-urgent yet important responsibilities, as well as trivial needs, into an organized daily schedule. It is important to always leave enough time in your schedule for unexpected occurrences. This will prevent time crunches and unnecessary struggling to keep time commitments. Remember, details which are trivial in the short term can become essential over time.


STUDENT: You mentioned meditation as a tool for mastering time. Please speak about this.

LEWIS: Daily Meditation shows us the illusion of time. Five minutes of meditation can seem like an hour and an hour of meditation can seem like five minutes.


STUDENT: Sitting quietly daily for 5 to 10 minutes will give you a true sense of how distorted time can seem. In the Jain faith there is a form of meditation known as Samayik.

LEWIS: This technique helps its practitioners to achieve a balance in time by making the present moment of time no more than a point between the past and the future. Samayika means being fully aware, alert and conscious in that very moment, so one may experience one’s true nature.



Lewis Harrison, the author of this blog is a speaker, consultant, and Contemporary Spiritual Teacher. He is a  pioneer in the personal development movement  The author of nine  self help books on human potential he offers seminar, workshops, retreats and phone based coaching. He is creating a series of ebooks entitled “Ask Lewis…” which will be available on line

Lewis offers phone-based and on-line life coaching services and created the course on Life Strategies www.How ToSolveAny  –  a simple system for decision making based on Game Theory, the idea expanded on by John Nash, the Nobel prize winning subject of the biopick “A Beautiful Mind”.