The Time Paradox: The New Psychology of Time That Will Change Your Life

 
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Your every significant choice -- every important decision you make -- is determined by a force operating deep inside your mind: your perspective on time -- your internal, personal time zone. This is the most influential force in your life, yet you are virtually unaware of it. Once you become aware of your personal time zone, you can begin to see and manage your life in exciting new ways.In The Time Paradox, Drs. Zimbardo and Boyd draw on thirty years of pioneering research to reveal, for the first time, how your individual time perspective shapes your life and is shaped by the world around you. Further, they demonstrate that your and every other individual's time zones interact to create national cultures, economics, and personal destinies.You will discover what time zone you live in through Drs. Zimbardo and Boyd's revolutionary tests. Ask yourself:* Does the smell of fresh-baked cookies bring you back to your childhood?* Do you believe that nothing will ever change in your world?* Do you believe that the present encompasses all and the future and past are mere abstractions?* Do you wear a watch, balance your checkbook, and make to-do lists -- every day?* Do you believe that life on earth is merely preparation for life after death?* Do you ruminate over failed relationships?* Are you the life of every party -- always late, always laughing, and always broke?These statements are representative of the seven most common ways people relate to time, each of which, in its extreme, creates benefits and pitfalls. The Time Paradox is a practical plan for optimizing your blend of time perspectives so you get the utmost out of every minute in your personal and professional life as well as a fascinating commentary about the power and paradoxes of time in the modern world.No matter your time perspective, you experience these paradoxes. Only by understanding this new psychological science of time zones will you be able to overcome the mental biases that keep you too attached to the past, too focused on immediate gratification, or unhealthily obsessed with future goals. Time passes no matter what you do -- it's up to you to spend it wisely and enjoy it well. Here's how.

Customer Reviews:

  • A Guide to Viewing Time - May Not Change Your Life, Will Change Your Perspective
    Are you the life of the party? Will nothing ever change in your life? Do freshly baked cookies make you nostalgic of your kid years? Each of these questions are three of the seven ways people relate to time, each with its very own pros and cons. Every choice you make is guided by your own, personal inner time zone. In The Time Paradox Philip Zimbardo and John Boyd state that it is key to understand how you relate to time if you want to make smart and wise decisions on how to spend your time. With 30 years of combined research, this pair of scientists collaborated to show you how your inner time zone works, and how everyone's time zones intermingle and work together. This is a very interesting read that could give you pointers on how to be more constructive with your time. And, if you know a decision-maker, make you sure you send him running to this book. ...more info
  • A Time Wasting Extravaganza
    Forget the time you'll forgo in the cash you earned to buy the book. The time you'll spend slogging through the 319 pages of 10 point serif font text shall become time you wish you could get back.

    In Part I (The New Science of Time: How Time Works), Boyd and Zimbardo give their beliefs about time from a cultural (social) and individual perspective.

    It's here that they introduce the Zimbardo Time Perspective Inventory (ZTPI) and invite you to take the time to quiz yourself. The ZTPI tries to measure if you have a positive or negative attitude toward the past, whether you dwell either too much or not enough in the here and now as well as the future, and whether you believe that you have free will to decide your future or that the mysterious force of fate decides your life for you.

    Part II (Making Time Work for You) fails to teaches you skills you might use to become better oriented toward time as the section title suggests.

    Instead, Boyd and Zimbardo opine about jet lag, drugs, overeating, gambling, investing, money, love, happiness, business, politics, emotion and what they belief to be the effects of such things on a man's perspective of time.

    To help fix your attitude about time, Boyd and Zimbardo have come up with questions for you to answer (pgs. 92-93, 129-130,155-156). They even give you the beginnings to replies. The questions and answer hints are:

    Who was I? [I was ...]
    Who am I? [I am..., When am I ..., Where am I ..., How do I feel ...]
    Who will I be? [I will be ...]

    Boyd and Zimbardo claim that a healthy man ought to be strong in positive beliefs about his past (High Past-Postive), be moderately strong in beliefs about his future (Moderately High Future), be moderately strong in beliefs about his present (Moderately High Present-Hedonistic), be weak in negative beliefs about his past (Low Past-Negative) and be weak in negative beliefs about his present (low Present-Fatalistic).

    Boyd and Zimbardo want you to learn how to "accentuate the positives and eliminate the negatives" and thus, they give you the last chapter which the writers purport shall help you reset your psychological clock.

    Their prescriptives for resetting your time perspective include:

    "...do less, not more" (pg. 302)
    "...make conscious choices about what you must do" (pg. 302)
    "...decide what is so important that it cannot be put on the back burner" (pg. 302)
    "...practice giving and graciously receiving the gift of time" (pg. 302)
    "...try to minimize the intrusion of work into your home life" (pg. 303)
    "Do not drive in the fast lane." (pg. 303)
    "...say "hello, goodbye, ciao, good morning, lovely day, and enjoy the holiday" (pg. 303)
    "Set a few reasonable goals that you would like to reach today, then tomorrow, then within the month" (pg. 306)
    "Chart your progress toward a goal" (pg. 306)
    "Practice mental simulation, mental rehearsal, and visualization" (pg. 306)
    "Make to-do lists; rank them from most to least important; check off completed ones; give yourself some reward for each task you complete; try to discover what is blocking completion of the rest" (pg. 306)
    "Think gray." (pg. 306)
    "Consider the many possibilities between the extremes." (pg. 306)
    "Think contingencies, options, cost-benefit analyses, and probabilities." (pg. 306)
    "Work toward long-term bigger rewards instead of settling for short-term quick ones." (pg. 307)
    "Create stability in your personal life..." (pg. 307)
    "Practice relaxation exercises, meditation, yoga, and self-hypnosis." (pg. 307)
    "Go to a comedy club." (pg. 307)
    "Practice telling jokes." (pg. 307)
    "Plan for periods of spontaneity." (pg. 307)
    "Don't wear a watch." (pg. 308)
    "Learn improvisation skills." (pg. 308)
    "Work at wasting time." (pg. 308)
    "Go for a hike..." (pg. 308)
    "Go to a karaoke bar..." (pg. 308)
    "...get regular massages, go to a spa, soak in a hot tub, sweat in a sauna, and take a long shower." (pg. 308)
    "...laugh out loud" (pg. 308)
    "Adopt a pet..." (pg. 308)
    "Make a scrapbook..." (pg. 309)
    "Tape (record) an oral history of your family..." (pg. 309)
    "Offer to help plan family reunions..." (pg. 309)
    "Express your gratitude in a note, call, card or even email..." (pg. 310)
    "Take a trip back to your hometown." (pg. 310)
    "Start a diary and reread it..." (pg. 310)
    "Place pictures of happy times in your home." (pg. 310)
    "Watch old movies, read historical novels and biographies..." (pg. 310)

    The above list reads like bad advice written in hundreds of self-help books whose writers typically lack Ph.D. after their names.

    Ph.D. Zimbardo holds the title of professor emeritus of psychology at Stanford. His past employers include the alleged illustrious Yale, Columbia and NYU.

    Ph.D. Boyd teaches at Stanford and studied under Zimbardo.

    This work bound by this book stands as an indictment of the sad state of American academia in the 21st Century.

    The colossal debt bubble economy under Bush-Clinton-Bush with their handmaiden Greenspan seems to have caused a bubble in Academia as well.







    ...more info
  • A Time Wasting Extravaganza
    Forget the time you'll forgo in the cash you earned to buy the book. The time you'll spend slogging through the 319 pages of 10 point serif font text shall become time you wish you could get back.

    In Part I (The New Science of Time: How Time Works), Boyd and Zimbardo give their beliefs about time from a cultural (social) and individual perspective.

    It's here that they introduce the Zimbardo Time Perspective Inventory (ZTPI) and invite you to take the time to quiz yourself. The ZTPI tries to measure if you have a positive or negative attitude toward the past, whether you dwell either too much or not enough in the here and now as well as the future, and whether you believe that you have free will to decide your future or that the mysterious force of fate decides your life for you.

    Part II (Making Time Work for You) fails to teaches you skills you might use to become better oriented toward time as the section title suggests.

    Instead, Boyd and Zimbardo opine about jet lag, drugs, overeating, gambling, investing, money, love, happiness, business, politics, emotion and what they belief to be the effects of such things on a man's perspective of time.

    To help fix your attitude about time, Boyd and Zimbardo have come up with questions for you to answer (pgs. 92-93, 129-130,155-156). They even give you the beginnings to replies. The questions and answer hints are:

    Who was I? [I was ...]
    Who am I? [I am..., When am I ..., Where am I ..., How do I feel ...]
    Who will I be? [I will be ...]

    Boyd and Zimbardo claim that a healthy man ought to be strong in positive beliefs about his past (High Past-Postive), be moderately strong in beliefs about his future (Moderately High Future), be moderately strong in beliefs about his present (Moderately High Present-Hedonistic), be weak in negative beliefs about his past (Low Past-Negative) and be weak in negative beliefs about his present (low Present-Fatalistic).

    Boyd and Zimbardo want you to learn how to "accentuate the positives and eliminate the negatives" and thus, they give you the last chapter which the writers purport shall help you reset your psychological clock.

    Their prescriptives for resetting your time perspective include:

    "...do less, not more" (pg. 302)
    "...make conscious choices about what you must do" (pg. 302)
    "...decide what is so important that it cannot be put on the back burner" (pg. 302)
    "...practice giving and graciously receiving the gift of time" (pg. 302)
    "...try to minimize the intrusion of work into your home life" (pg. 303)
    "Do not drive in the fast lane." (pg. 303)
    "...say "hello, goodbye, ciao, good morning, lovely day, and enjoy the holiday" (pg. 303)
    "Set a few reasonable goals that you would like to reach today, then tomorrow, then within the month" (pg. 306)
    "Chart your progress toward a goal" (pg. 306)
    "Practice mental simulation, mental rehearsal, and visualization" (pg. 306)
    "Make to-do lists; rank them from most to least important; check off completed ones; give yourself some reward for each task you complete; try to discover what is blocking completion of the rest" (pg. 306)
    "Think gray." (pg. 306)
    "Consider the many possibilities between the extremes." (pg. 306)
    "Think contingencies, options, cost-benefit analyses, and probabilities." (pg. 306)
    "Work toward long-term bigger rewards instead of settling for short-term quick ones." (pg. 307)
    "Create stability in your personal life..." (pg. 307)
    "Practice relaxation exercises, meditation, yoga, and self-hypnosis." (pg. 307)
    "Go to a comedy club." (pg. 307)
    "Practice telling jokes." (pg. 307)
    "Plan for periods of spontaneity." (pg. 307)
    "Don't wear a watch." (pg. 308)
    "Learn improvisation skills." (pg. 308)
    "Work at wasting time." (pg. 308)
    "Go for a hike..." (pg. 308)
    "Go to a karaoke bar..." (pg. 308)
    "...get regular massages, go to a spa, soak in a hot tub, sweat in a sauna, and take a long shower." (pg. 308)
    "...laugh out loud" (pg. 308)
    "Adopt a pet..." (pg. 308)
    "Make a scrapbook..." (pg. 309)
    "Tape (record) an oral history of your family..." (pg. 309)
    "Offer to help plan family reunions..." (pg. 309)
    "Express your gratitude in a note, call, card or even email..." (pg. 310)
    "Take a trip back to your hometown." (pg. 310)
    "Start a diary and reread it..." (pg. 310)
    "Place pictures of happy times in your home." (pg. 310)
    "Watch old movies, read historical novels and biographies..." (pg. 310)

    The above list reads like bad advice written in hundreds of self-help books whose writers typically lack Ph.D. after their names.

    Ph.D. Zimbardo holds the title of professor emeritus of psychology at Stanford. His past employers include the alleged illustrious Yale, Columbia and NYU.

    Ph.D. Boyd teaches at Stanford and studied under Zimbardo.

    This work bound by this book stands as an indictment of the sad state of American academia in the 21st Century.

    The colossal debt bubble economy under Bush-Clinton-Bush with their handmaiden Greenspan seems to have caused a bubble in Academia as well.







    ...more info
  • A Big, Rousing "Eh"
    Nothing at all earth-shattering here -- might be useful for the less-than-introspective among us. It's not bad, it's just not anything special....more info
  • Have Hammer, Find Nails
    Psychology mumbo-jumbo. Authors confuse Causal and Correlation effects. The authors have a hammer, and they search and find nails to pound with it. They attribute nearly everything in life to their concept. It is poor science....more info
  • Interesting premise
    About: Boyd and Zimbardo put forth that one's perspective of time (how one views the past, present and future) affects most all of a person's life. Includes Zimbardo Time Perspective Inventory to measure your time perspectives

    Pros: Interesting premise, easy to read, neat asides like lists of fairy tales and songs about time, sources cited.

    Cons: I'm wary of single theories that try to explain all aspects of a person's life. Some sections seem a bit out of place, like the long list of what you should do when you retire, as well as the chapter on suicide bombers....more info
  • Well worth the time . . .
    I highly recommend this book! The Time Paradox is a great read and contains interesting stats and suggestions for gaining a "healthier time perspective". In addition to giving me new eyes with which I view and use my time, it answers questions about mine & my husband's differences. I am able to better understand why he does or doesn't do some things, and I understand why it's so instinctive for me to do or not do just about the opposite of that.

    Every type-A personality who is married to, works with or has contact with non-type-A personalities (& vice versa) can benefit from doing these exercises. This book would be great in HR settings, and can help people better understand others' actions.

    Take the quick test, and if you are willing to DO what's necessary to modify your time perspective even a little, you will see BIG changes in the way you relate to others, in the way you use your time, and in the amount of time you have to use.

    One caution: my young kids aren't happy I read this book - I'm much more selective about how they (and I) use their time now. ...more info
  • Zimbardo
    Philip Zimbardo has been influencing the way I think about life for many, many years now. I originally discovered him on PBS psychology specials long ago and was fascinated by what he had to say back then and still today. He's one of those people you discover in a lifetime, that draws your attention whenever he decides to pop out and have something to say. He doesn't do it often, but when he does, I want to hear it and I wasn't disappointed. He has such a wonderful, clear way of speaking and explaining complex concepts that gives you the opportunity to have your own opinion, because you now understand what you're talking about. I believe that this is the reason for my fondness of him and his work, whether I ultimately end up agreeing with what he has said is often irrelevant because his goal seems to be to teach me something, not to preach to me. I appreciate that so much in a writer/scientist. Compare this to a political speech where the goal is to convince you of something and if anything keep you from understanding. I find myself drawn to Mr. Zimbardo because he's always attempting to educate me and/or open my mind to alternate perspectives as opposed to selling me or feeding his own ego. I trust his motives. In this book, once again, he does exactly that. I can't recall ever having thought about "time" psychologically before. So whether you agree with everything he says or you don't, as stated, becomes irrelevant because the beauty of the book is that instead of feeding you all the tired old recycled pop-psychology that we are used to getting from the wave of pop-psy books that have flooded the market, we get a really nice original subject to ponder.

    An honorable and thought provoking piece of work once again from Mr. Zimbardo. (My apologies to Mr. Boyd, at this time I'm unfamiliar with his work, but if he's hangin' with PZ he must be quite useful (:

    -Sarah Shikitao-Brown,
    Author of, Tao Cycle Therapy: Natural Happiness via Self Directed Cure for Chronic Anxiety & Depression...more info
  • Time is running out
    Time is running out; time is short; there's no time like the right time

    Time is a fascinating subject as we try to understand what it is. What is really measured by time? Is there a clock ticking if no one is in space to hear it?

    When I came upon "The Time Paradox", I was curious to read how the authors would deal with the mysteries of time. Surprisingly, there primary focus is on the effects of time on us--our beliefs and behaviors. They are not delving into space-time continuums, but rather with where and how we spend our time.

    It was a pleasant surprise to learn that this book would take me into areas that I've not explored in much depth before. Some of the questions explored are:
    What does my time concept have to do with how I live my life? Is one concept better than another? How are time concepts established? Can we change our time relationship and change our behaviors? Can we predict behavior based on one's time perspective?

    This highly interesting book guides the reader to a deeper understanding of psychology and gives us tools to analyze the concepts and learn about ourselves. I especially enjoyed the opportunity to take a survey--online or in the book--to help me determine how I view the world. (The Web site is terrific and the survey is very easy when taken online.)

    The blurb on the book jacket says "The New Psychology of Time That Will Change Your Life". Seemed like an exaggeration until I read the book. The book offers insights into why we do what we do and the motivations of others. In truth, I wish I had this book when I was much younger. In the many years since college, I have settled on a reasonably balanced time perspective on my own. This book could certainly have saved me a lot of wasted energy and time. Had I read this book when I was younger, I am convinced it would have changed my life.

    With the many studies cited and examples explored, the authors have written a psychology book that is approachable, reasonable, and enjoyable. Not an easy feat! I hope The Time Paradox gains the audience it deserves. Given the time perspective of the reading public, time is running out.

    ...more info
  • Overpromises and hence, disappoints
    I just finished the book and found it to be quite thought provoking in parts. Still, the overly generous praise on the book cover and also, the authors' promise in the first few pages builds up anticipation that remains undelivered when the book ends.

    Of course, there is some (or more than some) unnecessary padding and the writing style seems to change from chapter to chapter. Some of the reports -such as the authors' take on the suicide bombers - is just speculative mumbo-jumbo.

    The book provoked my thinking about how I spend my time and I especially enjoyed the incidents and historic stories as well as reporting about other research in this space. Some of the exercises looked interesting but wondering how useful these will be in the long run.

    Psychometrics is a complicated field and study of Time is a philosophical pursuit. It seems to me that the book would have been a lot better if the authors hasd selected to either focus on tangible, practical aspects or on high level picture and evolutionary perspective instead of mixing these both.

    ...more info
  • Oh my...where do you start?
    I did one thing that will make me happy about the past today, which is that I rented this book rather than purchased it. I could not agree more with the other 1 star reviews. This had to have been written for beginning readers and/or junior highschoolers. Right? If you know anything about psychology, you will get NOTHING out of this. I'm baffled about the positive reviews. I simply do not care about this book enough to write a long negative review, the other guys said it best. In fact, I feel sorry for adults who do not understand basic fundamental approaches to life such as that planning for the future is good, and thinking about the past positively is good, and enjoy yourself now and then is good, and negative thinking is bad, etc....more info
  • Time is running out
    Time is running out; time is short; there's no time like the right time

    Time is a fascinating subject as we try to understand what it is. What is really measured by time? Is there a clock ticking if no one is in space to hear it?

    When I came upon "The Time Paradox", I was curious to read how the authors would deal with the mysteries of time. Surprisingly, there primary focus is on the effects of time on us--our beliefs and behaviors. They are not delving into space-time continuums, but rather with where and how we spend our time.

    It was a pleasant surprise to learn that this book would take me into areas that I've not explored in much depth before. Some of the questions explored are:
    What does my time concept have to do with how I live my life? Is one concept better than another? How are time concepts established? Can we change our time relationship and change our behaviors? Can we predict behavior based on one's time perspective?

    This highly interesting book guides the reader to a deeper understanding of psychology and gives us tools to analyze the concepts and learn about ourselves. I especially enjoyed the opportunity to take a survey--online or in the book--to help me determine how I view the world. (The Web site is terrific and the survey is very easy when taken online.)

    The blurb on the book jacket says "The New Psychology of Time That Will Change Your Life". Seemed like an exaggeration until I read the book. The book offers insights into why we do what we do and the motivations of others. In truth, I wish I had this book when I was much younger. In the many years since college, I have settled on a reasonably balanced time perspective on my own. This book could certainly have saved me a lot of wasted energy and time. Had I read this book when I was younger, I am convinced it would have changed my life.

    With the many studies cited and examples explored, the authors have written a psychology book that is approachable, reasonable, and enjoyable. Not an easy feat! I hope The Time Paradox gains the audience it deserves. Given the time perspective of the reading public, time is running out.

    ...more info
  • The Podcast
    We haven't bought the book yet. We listened to Zimbardo's talk to the Commonwealth Club and discussed his work in relation to our own family and found it quite worthwhile.

    One is automatically suspicious of any metaphor-paradigm that explains everything from individual behavior to the relationships between nations. Still, there's a lot to think about here.

    Valuable, challenging, and worthwhile. Listen to the Commonwealth Club's presentation and then decide if you want to buy the book. Good stuff. At least as good as Civilization and Its Discontents. ;-)...more info
  • Oh my...where do you start?
    I did one thing that will make me happy about the past today, which is that I rented this book rather than purchased it. I could not agree more with the other 1 star reviews. This had to have been written for beginning readers and/or junior highschoolers. Right? If you know anything about psychology, you will get NOTHING out of this. I'm baffled about the positive reviews. I simply do not care about this book enough to write a long negative review, the other guys said it best. In fact, I feel sorry for adults who do not understand basic fundamental approaches to life such as that planning for the future is good, and thinking about the past positively is good, and enjoy yourself now and then is good, and negative thinking is bad, etc....more info
  • Good book.
    This is an interesting book that has many personality insights. Don't read it too fast. Let it digest slowly....more info
  • Worth the read.
    I agree with the other reviewer that this book was too long, but it is still worth the time. I saw Philip Zimbardo at the Commonwealth Club discussing this book, which helped me with it. He explained the points better in person than in the book.

    There is nothing earth shattering in the book, but it is a good reminder of how humans do not know what makes them happy and are slaves to time. The exercises are helpful and well thought out. The book could have been edited about 20 pages though....more info
  • Overpromises and hence, disappoints
    I just finished the book and found it to be quite thought provoking in parts. Still, the overly generous praise on the book cover and also, the authors' promise in the first few pages builds up anticipation that remains undelivered when the book ends.

    Of course, there is some (or more than some) unnecessary padding and the writing style seems to change from chapter to chapter. Some of the reports -such as the authors' take on the suicide bombers - is just speculative mumbo-jumbo.

    The book provoked my thinking about how I spend my time and I especially enjoyed the incidents and historic stories as well as reporting about other research in this space. Some of the exercises looked interesting but wondering how useful these will be in the long run.

    Psychometrics is a complicated field and study of Time is a philosophical pursuit. It seems to me that the book would have been a lot better if the authors hasd selected to either focus on tangible, practical aspects or on high level picture and evolutionary perspective instead of mixing these both.

    ...more info

 

 
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