Time to be fed... time to be changed..."are we there YET?", " WHEN is my birthday?"... "is it Christmas already?... " Time seems to drag when we are kids and fly by as adults. And, for all our fascination with time - it is one of the most difficult concepts for us to grasp.
According to Jean Piaget, child psychologist, time is an abstract concept that kids don't truly grasp until approximately eight years of age. Words relating to time are also one of the most difficult for kids to grasp (soon, yet, when, almost).
Even as adults, we are constantly wrestling with time. We juggle time schedules in our daily lives and are fascinated with studies and stories of time and relativity, time travel, and time seen through space and multiple dimensions. Adults, be they scientists, physicians, psychologists, writers, musicians,or fashionistas all wrestle with how to turn back the effects of time.
Time is literally all around us and effects just about everything we do. Temporal sequential processing is all about how we recognize and follow time. It refers to the skills and steps we take to accomplish things in a given time, place, and order.
Telling a story or a joke, for example, is all about temporal sequential processing. We have to understand the order (in time) that events take place, twist the story so the punchline is unexpected, and deliver that punch line with the correct timing (pausing for listeners to think and then zing them).
Notice how Ray pauses before the punchline and moves from topic to topic - they all relate but you don't quite know where he's going until he zings you.
For joke telling tips here are some links:
- Toastmasters International: How to Tell a Joke
- Please leave your own tips on how to tell jokes (or just leave your favorite joke) in the comments below.
BUT Temporal sequential processing is involved in a whole lot more than just telling jokes and stories. You need solid temporal sequential processing to function in just about everything you do:
- Knowing when to wake up to get to work/school on time - (knowing how long it takes to dress, eat breakfast, commute, etc.)
- Knowing how long various chores/tasks/activities will take as the day's schedule (and required tasks) evolves and knowing how much to schedule (or not schedule) given the day's agenda.
- Setting aside enough travel time to get to appointments/classes on time.
- Cooking is ALL about temporal sequential processing - from following the directions in the right order, to knowing how the oven heats and how long to mix, stir, bake and fry.
- In school there are even more demands:
- Social studies: kids must sequences of events over time that shaped a particular individual or enabled a specific event /plan to succeed;
- Math: students must understand WHEN to apply different solutions and different sequences of solutions
- Science: experiments in science are all about timing and following sequences of actions
- Writing: students must keep track of the sequence of the story or content while keeping track of spelling, and grammar (past, present, future).
- Keep a calendar handy and fill in your daily /weekly / monthly responsibilities
- Checklists for chores, assignments, etc.
- Install good word processing programs on computers to help check for grammar and spelling
- Consider software programs that help plan out writing sequences, organize notes, even map quests that will give you estimates of how long it will take to get somewhere
- Play games that require sequencing and timing (tennis. for example, is great because timing is important in vollying)
- Cooking and baking are great ways to reinforce sequences of steps and time
- Comics and graphic novels are GREAT ways to work on sense of time, sequence and order of events (just following the panels reinforces following sequence and time).
- For social studies in school, make timelines to help visually reinforce the sequence of events as well as how closely they played out within a given time frame.
Me? I am not a good joke-teller and I have had to add a lot of structure to my day and my life to handle time efficiently - get to where I need to be on time, meet deadlines, and juggle home, parenting, and work responsibilities. I keep calendars, set my clocks a few minutes fast (even though I know they are fast, it still helps me) and I leave the joke telling to others.
How do you deal with time?