Time can be described with a number of different moderators. Work time. Nap time. Free time.
But what about empty time?
Free time is free of structured content. You may or may not do something with your free time – well, by definition, I supposed you must do something with your free time – but you can do whatever you want with your free time. It can be productive time or unproductive time. It doesn’t matter – it’s free for you to use.
But empty time is different.
Empty time is like empty calories. The time is there. The seconds pass. But the substance is gone. The meaning is missing.
Empty time is both productive time and unproductive time. Something is happening. Something is getting done. But your brain isn’t there. And your brain isn’t accomplishing anything, either.
You might encounter empty time while stuffing folders, waiting for the bus, or, quite possibly when someone you don’t care about is going on about something that you don’t care about.
Ideally, I suppose, no time would be empty. Every second you would live in the moment, focused on the here and now, excited by whatever you could glean from a given opportunity.
Waiting for the bus is a chance to reflect on your day, observe the world, or learn something new. Every person who speaks to you should have your complete an undivided attention. Even stuffing folders can be meditative.
But is that really possible, or feasible, and is it ideal after all?
I don’t know, but perhaps I’ll ponder that next time I’m waiting for the bus.