How is all this related to time allotment? It is a given that everyone has the same 24 hour allotment. (We all live on the same planet and we all rotate about its axis once every 24 hours by definition, i.e. the rotation has been divided into 24 arbitrary periods we call hours.) Whatever we call it, the daily time allotment for each person is the same, not allowing for relativity where a person’s time at the equator is different than a persons time near either pole. Note that daily is an arbitrary definition, too. However, we all agree that these nominal definitions of time periods are useful for civilization. We don’t want to be late for dinner. Consider briefly the extremes of people bound tightly by time allotments and others who are unconcerned about hours and minutes, only seasons. What shall we do with all those relentless units of time allotted to us, no matter the unit of measure?
Time allotment is totally dependent upon desire leading to prioritization. Yes, I’ll take time to eat. In a more complicated context, I won’t eat because I wish to please someone else by getting something specific done first. In traditional time management priorities take a front seat, but desire is almost never mentioned. This disconnect is a major weak spot in the traditional stream and I believe is the source of pervasive feelings of failure when time deadlines get confused and are not met. Have you ever been on the giving or receiving end of that tantrum? I DIDN’T GET WHAT I WANTED! Desire sometimes is so intense that it clouds judgment about physical limitations. There is a nervous intensity hovering about anticipated actions that might be called “drive”. Something to be considered is that humans are built to do work. Inaction tends to be destructive. So it is important that the pressure of this intensity be directed carefully through comprehensive planning. Not all humans have the same motivation or drive. Another thing to be considered is that people who set time allotments for groups are usually in “power positions” and tend to be arrogant, thinking they can control the drive and desire of their “subordinates”. The intensity of their own desires precludes careful thought and plans get rushed. Time allotment is almost impossible because it requires so much experience dealing with all the time consuming details that are so easily overlooked and allowing for the unknown.
A severe limitation of humans is that we cannot effectively do two things at once. By its inherent nature, time forces a sequence to occur in mind, time and space. One event or thought must follow another, more noticeable the tighter the focus. We can fool ourselves into thinking that we are omnipotent by sequencing events so rapidly that they appear to be simultaneous, but they are not really so. Our mind is constantly processing a stream of events, sometimes initiating a stream of events adding to the processing burden. Input and output. Computer programmers deal with this all the time because, like humans, processors can focus on only one task at a time. So a sequence of events occurs, not randomly, but under the strict queuing process whereby events happen one after another as assigned by a higher authority prioritization process. We probably cannot legitimately say the computer has “desire” that causes prioritization, for the computer must respond to the desire of the programmers at some level. Likewise, we humans are processing a continuous stream of events only a small portion of which we can almost accurately anticipate. While humans have some desires programmed at birth, a uniquely human privilege is to create our own desires. We can literally program ourselves to a very considerable extent. It is both a privilege and a responsibility to be able to think.
Assigning time allotments to a sequence of events begins at birth and ends at death (or loss of consciousness). We cannot stop it or start it. Much of it, like breathing or chewing, is so automatic and inherent to our basic construction that we dare not tinker with the sequencing (a.k.a. prioritization) without dire consequences. So we are actually talking about trying to gain control over a very limited scope of sequenced events, the ones we might call premeditated actions that include habits. They are scattered amongst the larger chain of events in non-contiguous blocks. No wonder it is so fruitless for many who try to manage the prioritization and allotment processes. It takes a mind-boggling amount of resources well enough coordinated to effectively sort the queue of events that endlessly marches through our consciousness. One can get hopelessly entangled in circular efforts. This may look a lot like Lucille Ball trying to frost and box cakes as they come ever faster down the conveyor until a calamity occurs. (Note carefully that it does not help her dilemma to take cakes she can’t process in time and place them upstream.) The advance of time and the sequence of events are merciless. We allocate time by default or intention. Scientists have long known that the very act of observing a phenomenon changes the phenomenon. So how does one hook desire to an outcome in this mixed queue of events (that includes actions) when even the act of looking (thinking about it to assign a different priority than the sequence presents) changes things? The “trick” seems to be closely related to an old saw, which concludes, “…help me to know the difference.” The sorting requires repetitive practice to be done skillfully (accurately) and quickly. A LOT of practice. Does that explain why satisfaction is so often delayed until later in life?