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What I Learned This Week: There's No Such Thing As Five Minutes

08/12/2013 07:41 EDT | Updated 10/12/2013 05:12 EDT

  • I thought I would sell my house in 48 hours, maybe two weeks.
  • I was told the renovations on my new apartment would take three months.
  • Dinner will be right out.
  • The scratched David Drebin photo? We'll have a new one for you next week.
  • The next bus will be by in 10 Minutes Max (The new campaign of Montreal's STM).
  • It'll take me 15 minutes to write this blog post.

I could go on forever, but even then, I'd go longer.

Everything takes more time than we think...than we hoped...than we're promised.

Now I don't think the world is being overrun by liars. Au contraire, I just think we suck at time estimation.

Put another way, "Longer Than Expected is the New Black."

If time is indeed the most precious of commodities, we are doing our damndest to try and squeeze 65 minutes out of every hour.

Perhaps it's Eintstein's Theory of Relativity running amuck, or maybe it's just the extreme time pressures being applied by today's digitally-driven, 25/8 world-wide operating system, but it's becoming an epidemic.

And I'm just as guilty as anybody else. After three months on the job returning to Just For Laughs, I was supposed to have locked down a digital ad agency. And have my org chart ready. And have all my teams in place. And have sold the Rock 'n' Droll TV/live show concept.

I can keep going, but why make myself miserable?

So what did I learn this week? I learned that there's no such thing as "five minutes"...as in "I'm running five minutes late." The only things that take five minutes are things promised in two minutes.

How perverse has this made me? Well, last week, instead of my usual state of frustrated rage when faced with a long airport line upon returning from a trip to Atlanta, I saw it as an opportunity to catch up on all the time that was sucked from my schedule by over promisers throughout the past month. I accepted the inevitability and helplessness of my situation, whipped out my Kindle, and caught up on some reading.

Sadly, that half-hour delay passed by...like it was five minutes.

(P.S. This post? Exactly 23 minutes from sitting down and typing out the first word until pressing "schedule." Arrgghh!)