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ChangingMinds Blog! > Blog Archive > 14-Aug-06

 


Monday 14-Aug-06

Holidays and breaking up time

I'm back from holidays at last (Here's my holiday blog). We drove around Europe and stayed in many places, mostly two days at each location. It was just over two weeks, which is quite a long time but seemed even longer. A reason for this is connected with the way that we process time internally, making it strangely variable experience.

When you break up time into smaller pieces, you process them individually, which takes more cognitive effort. Perhaps what happens is that we convert thinking time into actual time. Experiences that we think about more thus seem to be longer. This is what happened to our holiday: by breaking it up into lots of episodes. We've done this in the past, with two-centre holidays (one week in one place and one in another), which always seemed much better than a single two-week vacation.

You can use the same effect when you want to create the experience of a long time, by breaking it up into smaller elements. In the reverse sense, you can make time seem shorter by keeping it in a single, unbroken experience.


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