Gilligan: Hiya, Professor. What are you doing?
The Professor: I'm making notes for a book. It's to be a chronicle of our adventures on the island. I think people will buy it, don't you?
Gilligan: Sure, I'll buy one. I'm dying to find out what happens to us. ~ Gilligan's Island 1964
It always seemed to me that the stranded castaways on Gilligan's Island had it made; and even though their mission was to find a way to get off or to be rescued, every week they found contentment on their uncharted desert isle. They became increasingly laid back and adapted to life on the island. They were livin' on Island Time.
I woke up on Island Time today. I spent this past weekend on Catalina Island and we heard several people use the phrase Island Time. "I'm in no hurry, I'm on Island Time." "The service is slow; they're on Island Time." At first, coming from the fast-paced city and daily grind, slowing down seemed an annoyance, a hurry-up-and-wait torture. But, a fter a day or so, we started thinking in those terms too. Hurry-up-and-wait became slow-down-and-chill. Everything seemed to pace down just a smidge, running late didn't matter, and not watching the clock was a pleasure.
It got me thinking about how much we let time control us sometime. But yet by applying a little environment or mindset adjustment might we be able to use time to our advantage?
What exactly is Island Time?
Urban Dictionary defines it as "An invisible concave barrier that separates... When passing through this barrier, by means of swing bridge or boat, the time space continuum slows down due to the island's laid back attitude." Or, "a time zone that normally runs ten minutes behind real time."
Author Carl A Maida says that "cognitive maps" come into play when adopting the Island Time mindset. With this kind of mindmapping, the actual environment helps to set mindmap boundaries. You must cross a divide to get there, the place is surrounded be water which has a natural calming effect, the sound of the ocean lapping against the shore and the smell of salt air quiet the senses and prepare the mind to slow time. It's one of the main reasons people are drawn to the islands when wanting to live a simpler life.
What can you do to bring Island Time into your everyday life? Here are a couple thoughts:
- Every day, carve out a place where you can create your own island, setting personal boundaries that are quiet and safe.
- Go off the grid for a bit every day or week. Shut down all electronics and be in nature, or journal, or explore a part of your own uncharted world.
- Get near some water. It has such a calming influence that it can train your mind to slow down. Either find a body of water nearby where you can enjoy the sights, smells and sounds; or submerge yourself - take a bath, go for a swim or steam in a hot shower.
- Focus on a singular thing. Stop multi-tasking and stay present with whatever person or task is in front of you.
The key to the above and to all forms of Island Time mindset is to focus on the characteristics of your mindmap: environment, boundaries, senses and singular thought. When they all gel you can create Island Time any time you want.
But, back to Gilligan's gang for a moment... Did they really pack that much stuff for just a "three-hour tour"? I'm just sayin'.