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Ignoring Clocks Will Improve Your Creativity (and Your Yoga Skills)

Ignoring Clocks Will Improve Your Creativity (and Your Yoga Skills)
Photograph by Redmal/Getty Images

There are two kinds of people in the world. You’ve probably heard that. There are introverts and extroverts, planners and improvisers, marshmallow eaters and marshmallow savers, women (Venus) and men (Mars), right-brained people and left-brained people (or maybe not).

Now there’s yet another way to divide the human race in half: by how we organize time. There are ”clock-time” people and “event-time” people, according to research by two marketing professors. Clock-timers, as the term suggests, schedule their days by hours and minutes. They give tasks, errands, and even pastimes an allotted hour and a time limit, and they stick to the schedule. Event-timers, on the other hand, schedule serially: They work on a task until it’s finished or they reach a natural stopping point, and then they move on to something else. Some of the difference, the researchers say, is contextual, some of it is cultural, and some may be genetic.