The Spook of Time: Abandoning the Clock for a Happier and Healthier You


Time haunts us. There is always a next to-do and a next due date for something to happen. We chase from deadline to deadline, even though they might not be actual “deadlines.” Where does this stress come from and do we really need to accept that?

Let’s think of an experiment to find out more about how we are controlled by time and being on the clock. How about removing time indicators and stressors like clocks and watches? You’ll soon find out how a timeless day can have a positive impact on your day.

Would you like to try living without clocks? Whether your forget that they are there or physically remove them, there might be something to take away from such an experiment.

No time at home

Keeping time and schedules reduced our understanding of our own body. We should eat when our body tells us to eat and not when it’s “time” for a meal. We should sleep when our body tells us to sleep and not when the hour hand hits a number on the dial.

If you regain understanding on how your body communicates its needs with you, it is also easier to take care of yourself and feel well. You’re the master of your own time, not a clock and not a schedule.

No time at work

In the business world, many of us jump from meeting to meeting and from appointment to appointment. If you are good, you have prepared a system for themselves to account for breaks as well. If not, they might be munching their lunch during the conversation.

Certainly, the work scenarios are harder to address but might not be impossible to pilot. What if we also abandoned the clock in the office? You have a need to talk to someone? Talk with them right away. Think about it, then go there or call them and talk things through. This will not only remove the stress of the clock but also result in a more agile organization if the culture spreads.

This is certainly not about cutting to do lists. Leveraging productivity and organizing yourself to be efficient is certainly desirable, but maybe we can get rid of the time stamps? Be honest with yourself and achieve those goals! You don’t need to stress yourself with a “due time.” You also don’t need to micro-manage staff like that, in case you’re a manager. Trust is the real enabler here for many things.

No time on the go

No need to get that next bus, tram, train or something else. It’s very likely that nobody will die if you grab the next one and stay relaxed instead, choosing not to run for your life to catch that ride. If you’re living in a metropolitan area, the next ride is coming along only minutes later anyway.

We have our productivity/entertainment devices right with us all the time anyway. If you won a few moments to break and breathe, you could also do something on your phone instead. Send your parents a note about your day. Tell your spouse, you love them. Play a game, tweet, snap away or read something. See? It was not a problem and before you know it the next ride arrives just for you while you’re all relaxed.

It’s even easier when you’re driving your own vehicle. Take it easy on your way. Every rush and risky maneuver doesn’t only stress you and others out, but it might as well lead to an accident. No matter where you’re rushing to, they want you to arrive safe and sound.

I’m not telling you to neglect your punctuality either. If you’re well prepared and mindful of your day, you can start your way early enough to account for possible delays. You might live longer and happier that way. Food for thought~.

Getting rid of clocks

It’s up to you to what degree you want to try this out. As a priority, I recommend you to remove clocks from in your home. If possible, you can also try to remove clocks in your work environment. If you can’t execute that for reasons that lie outside of your control, try learning to ignore the clock like they don’t even exist.

Further reading



The clock-free concept is experimental, and I put the emphasis on that. Please feel invited to try out living without clocks and share your experience and comments with us. I believe there is a particular potential to be unlocked, but that potential is variable and depends on your lifestyle, profession, and other factors as well.

Time’s up.

Disclaimer: There are certainly occupations and activities that require exact timing for a variety of reasons. This article on abandoning the clock excludes critical operations in special fields. These are not applicable and please do not try to ignore the time, if it would have any consequences or risk to harm any other being or yourself.

Photo credit: Annca / Andreas160578 / Alexas_Fotos

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Christopher Isak
Christopher Isak
Hi there and thanks for reading my article! I'm Chris the founder of TechAcute. I write about technology news and share experiences from my life in the enterprise world. Drop by on Twitter and say 'hi' sometime. ;)
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