As we reported earlier today, Chipotle has recruited a handful of famous authors and actors to write short essays that will appear on the chain’s paper cups and bags.
One of those writers is Michael Lewis, the New York Times best-selling author of Moneyball, The Blind Side, and most recently, Flash Boys.
In his essay for Chipotle, titled “The Two-Minute Minute,” Lewis explains his frenetic obsession with managing his time efficiently.
Read his essay below.
I spend too much time trying to spend less time. Before trips to the grocery store, I’ll waste minutes debating whether it is more efficient to make a list, or simply race up and down the aisles grabbing things. I spend what feels like decades in airport security lines trying to figure out how to get through most quickly: should I put the plastic bin containing my belt and shoes through the bomb detector before my carry-on bag, or after? And why sit patiently waiting for the light to turn green when I might email on my phone? I’ve become more worried about using time efficiently than using it well. But in saner moments I’m able to approach the fourth dimension not as a thing to be ruthlessly managed, but whose basic nature might be altered to enrich my experience of life. I even have tricks for slowing time –or at least my perception of it. At night I sometimes write down things that happened that day.
For example: This morning Walker (my five year old son) asks me if I had a pet when I was a kid. “Yes,” I say, “I had a Siamese cat that I loved named Ding How, but he got run over by a car.” Walker: “It’s lucky that it got killed by a car.” Me: “Why?” Walker: “Because then you could get a new cat that isn’t named Ding How.”
Recording the quotidian details of my day seems to add hours a day to my life: I’m not sure why. Another trick is to focus on some ordinary thing–the faintly geological strata of the insides of a burrito, for instance–and try to describe what I see. Another: pick a task I’d normally do quickly and thoughtlessly–writing words for the side of a cup, say– and do it as slowly as possible. Forcing my life into slow-motion, I notice a lot that I miss at game speed. The one thing I don’t notice is the passage of time.
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