Status: Suggested 20000323
%t Twenty Minutes
%s The Hardest Time Slot to Fill
%a Alex Gough (email@example.com)
Time management is an important skill to possess in the fast-paced modern
world of big business. This ability is so useful that the temporally
challenged can take courses and even gain qualifications in structuring
their day. Although how they manage to fit such courses into their busy and
badly planned schedules is an open question.
Every plan though has its weak points and in the case of time management, as
with most other forms of planning, it lies in people. Specifically other
people. These are an insipid and ever growing threat to the proper
organization of society especially when they all take a different amount of
time to do whatever you want to get done. Because of this somewhat
inconsiderate behaviour you will frequently find yourself with a short
period of time to fill between ending one task and starting another.
Often this pause in useful activity will be very short and will allow you to
collect your thoughts, briefly worry about wether you had locked your door
or let the cat out before setting off for work, perhaps make a mental list
of all the jobs you can safely put off until tomorrow or remind yourself of
that television programme you plan to watch after dinner.
You will also encounter extended break-downs in scheduling, for instance
because a co-worker found it necessary to cancel an hour long meeting,
leaving you with plenty of time to complete a complex or onerous task.
Should you have an impending deadline looming upon the horizon you might
want to conspire with your fellows to create an opportunity such as this to
leave more time to dedicate to an important project.
There is another amount of unexpected free time though. Twenty minutes. It
is almost impossible to fill twenty minutes with mindless daydreaming and
the compilation of shopping lists. It is also beyond the ability of man to
use twenty minutes to achieve anything of great import. God might have
created the universe in six days but He took more than twenty minutes to
make Man . You will be unable to eat lunch in less than twenty five
minutes and a coffee break cannot be stretched beyond fifteen without the
addition of another cup of coffee which will take the beverage assisted
relaxation period to twenty three minutes or more.
A brief pause could be used for a quick trip to the toilet, a long break
could house a shower or even a bath, but twenty minutes offers no hope of a
wash and a call of nature begins to look suspicious if it lasts for longer
than usually ample span of six and a half minutes. If left with many hours
on your hands you might be able to compose an uplifting symphony. With only
three minutes you have the chance of whistling a joyful ditty to yourself
but with the unholy gap of twenty minutes you can do neither.
Of course, pending the invention of time travel and complete rewriting of
the laws of physics, you might one day be able to free yourself from the
tyranny of the twenty minutes and be left to spend every waking (and even
sleeping) hour as you please.
 Although it is argued by some theologians that Woman might have taken
less than ten minutes, given that God already had a rib to start with.