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Unhandling Time

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Written by   26
7 months ago

I don't know if you have ever done this, but yesterday I decided to try something wild - I changed the hand I wear my watch on from the non-dominant over to my right. While I knew it would make a difference, I wasn't actually prepared for how much of a difference it has made and - none of it is good.

I have been wearing a sports watch consistently for about two years now and while I rarely use it for its intended purpose of tracking my activity, I have enjoyed it after a very long period of relying on my phone for the time. However, while muscle memory kicked in, it has never become "part of me" like it used to be when I was younger and has always been somewhat uncomfortable, no matter the band I use.

The reason I made the shift wasn't because of this though - I really just want to see how long it is going to take for my body to adjust to the "new normal" or, for my head to get so frustrated by the change, it forces me to move it back to my left hand. I really think that my head is going to give in before the adjustment takes place.

It has disrupted everything and, my attention is painfully aware that there is a change, amplifying the discomfort of the change. My right hand (dominant) feels heavy and awkward, like it has been injured and protests at any moves. However, it isn't just the hand, it is the entire arm from the shoulder down, which is a bit of a surprise. The other thing is that while not a very large watch (46mm), it feels far heavier than it did on my left hand and it gets in the way constantly.

There is no directly practical reason for me to run this experiment on myself, however as a trainer, it is interesting to see how a slight change is going to be accepted or rejected by the body and mind. Essentially, my work requires enabling improved behaviors, which often requires shifting a "bad" habit into a better process. And whilst everyone can understand why and be onboard at the knowledge level, changing the actual behavior can be a monumental task that takes a lot of attention, effort and time.

Speeding up this changeover process vastly improves skill abilities, because it allows for more changes to be made and the more it is done, the easier it gets. These then compound against each other earlier, increasing the impact of the changes themselves in the same way that a compound interest calculation is going to be affected by both the frequency of compounds and the frequency (and amount) of additional inputs. Calculating a deposit monthly will return more than yearly. Adding a monthly deposit will return more than adding the same amount yearly.

It is about continual compounding and in this case, it is about skills, not money. Yet similarly, just like needing the money resources to invest into a compounding return, skill resources are required also and these come in various forms, including physical, informational and mental. If an individual doesn't have the correct resources available at the right time, the investment results are going to be reduced.

One of those resources is the cluster of skills required to deal with change, as like it or not, change itself is always uncomfortable when moving from a habit, even if to something better that brings improved results and experiences. Getting used to this "pain" helps us to lower the resources needed for the next hurdle for the next change, speeding our ability to introduce, learn, make changes, accept and practice enough that they become behavioral defaults. It is like "buying low" where the change comes with a higher return and therefore, more resources available for the next investment.

While largely pointless in terms of telling the time, changing the watch hand has been a good reminder how even slight alterations to normal behavior have knock-on effects that cause all kinds of other changes. For example, typing is more difficult now and I feel like I am "off balance" when I concentrate on it, but as I have a million things to do - I forget to me uncomfortable.

Speaking of which,

is that the time?

No matter which hand my watch is on, time doesn't stop and the desk is still full.

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Avatar for dansontela
Written by   26
7 months ago
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