Fantastic Time Management
Characters are often pressed for time. Maybe they overbook themselves for a specific time period, or maybe they just have a very busy life general, what with having the Wake Up, Go to School, Save the World
all the time. Perhaps they have a deadline that is just physically impossible to meet in the allotted time.
Well, not to worry: All they have to do is create more time, using Magic and Powers
or Applied Phlebotinum
Favorite methods include Time Travel
(But be careful, San Dimas Time
stops for nobody
,) Year Inside, Hour Outside
, and Narnia Time
, however there can also be other ways of accomplishing this. This is often a form of Mundane Utility
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Anime & Manga
- In Mahou Sensei Negima!, Negi Springfield uses both the Time Travel and the Year Inside, Hour Outside solution:
- In order to be able to both do his school teaching duties and go through a special magic/combat training, Negi begins to use his mentor Evangeline's special resort located in a Pocket Dimension where one day is equivalent to one hour in our world.
- In the Mahora Festival arc, Negi ends up majorly overbooking his schedule, as noted in the trope picture.note He is given a Time Travel device by Chao in order to allow him to meet all his commitments, time jumping three times on the first day alone. Of course, because this deprives him of sleep, he then also uses the aforementioned Evangeline's resort to be able to rest from all these activities.
- Which was exactly what Chao expected him to do.
- In an issue of Love and Capes, superhero (and accountant) Crusader forgets to do his own taxes until 11:30 p.m. on April 15. He has to have them finished and in the mail by midnight. Even using his super-speed powers, he is unable to finish them until 2 a.m. the next day. This is no problem, since he lives in the Eastern time zone; He just flies at super speed to the west coast, and mails his taxes in before midnight Pacific time.
- In Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality, Harry has a 26-hour sleep schedule. Professor McGonagall solves this by giving him a Time-Turner. Harry is quite unnerved by this...
Say, Professor McGonagall, did you know that time-reversed ordinary matter looks just like antimatter? Why yes it does! Did you know that one kilogram of antimatter encountering one kilogram of matter will annihilate in an explosion equivalent to 43 million tons of TNT? Do you realize that I myself weigh 41 kilograms and that the resulting blast would leave A GIANT SMOKING CRATER WHERE THERE USED TO BE SCOTLAND?
- ...but eventually gets quite used to it, to the point where he has to be magically restricted from using it more often than the intended two turns per day.
- In Harry Potter and the Breeding Darkness in order to attend school at Hogwarts, manage the Death Eaters, continue his independent studies, and spend time with Tom; Harry uses a Time Turner to live every day twice.
- In Amends, or Truth and Reconciliation, Hermione's political enemies try to bury her in busywork and conflictingly scheduled meetings. It doesn't work. But somehow they never guess she has a time turner. She's experiencing about septuple time once the plot really gets moving.
Film — Animation
- Done in Megamind. During some hero-villain banter with Megamind, Metro Man realizes that he has been doing the same thing for years. He uses his super speed to go out, think to himself, and read SEVERAL self-help books. All this time, he's moving so fast that time appears frozen to him. It's done to ridiculous extents, but it makes sense seeing as how it IS a parody.
Film — Live-Action
- In Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey, Bill and Ted exploit their time machine to get a few extra years' guitar practice in before the Battle of the Bands. This despite the previous film having explicitly established that this was impossible... Obviously, they finally figured out they could just call a date that used to be a few years earlier, which would now have also moved forward to the correct date after they spent those few years learning to actually play well.
- In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Hermione Granger uses daily time travel to take more classes than would be otherwise possible. At the end she decides it's too much of a hassle and drops the extra subjects to have a more normal schedule.
- Time Machine story "The Time Machine Twins the Jamboree". Bob Tucker (who is a Boy Scout) needs to be at Jamboree West and Jamboree East, but they're being held at the same time. "Brains" Baines comes up with the idea of using the Time Machine to move him from one event to the other, and taking him to a deserted beach in the 40th century to sleep between appearances.
- The Dragonriders of Pern books have several examples of people using their dragons' time-jumping ability to do this.
- Jaxom does it a few times throughout The White Dragon, mostly for relatively trivial reasons.
- In Moreta, Dragonlady of Pern, Moreta does it repeatedly, to the point of exhaustion and eventual death, to deliver a plague cure to everyone who needs it.
- In All The Skies Of Pern, pretty much every dragon-rider does it after a meteorite causes a massive tidal wave threatens all of the coastal regions: they time-jump to hours before the event to begin the evacuations. It works: they lose a lot of infrastructure but practically no people.
- In the Discworld novel Thief of Time, the title character can make time flow faster or slower for himself relative to the world around him. He regularly uses this ability for mundane everyday schedule management.
- Mr. Soak, the milkman, does this. Somehow, the milk is always on your doorstep at exactly 7 am. For everyone. Turns out Soak is actually Kaos, and can stop time as well.
- This is the central plot of the Doctor Who Expanded Universe novel Borrowed Time, in which very busy people are given watches that allow them to literally borrow time so they can fit more things into the day. The problems come when they're expected to pay it back. With compound interest.
- Used in a farcical novel by Harry Harrison called The Technicolor Time Machine, where a desperate movie director, lacking a budget for a historical film about Vikings, hires a crackpot inventor, who actually builds a working time machine, to film the whole thing in the past, saving money on sets and actors. Since they have to deliver in a short time frame, they hire a scriptwriter and send him to an island in the past for a month to write the script. After a few such trips, they get the script and start filming, at which point they use the time machine to skip forward and back (setting up Stable Time Loops). All nearly seems lost when the director is forced to go to his boss's office empty-handed, only for his future self to appear with the film all done and tell him to keep working (also giving him a piece of paper with a diagram of what to do to get to that point). In the end, the film is done and is a big hit, and the director realizes that the Vikings only discovered the New World because a film director wanted to make a movie.
- In the 1980s Twilight Zone episode "A Little Peace and Quiet", a harried housewife finds a magic sundial that allows her to stop and restart time. She uses it to literally make time for herself, enjoying a peaceful breakfast or leisurely shopping for groceries while time is stopped for everyone else. Everything is perfect until nuclear war breaks out and she stops time while a missile is 10 feet above her head. She will have to choose between dying with everyone else and living her life forever trapped between two instants of time.
- Used surprisingly infrequently in Doctor Who. One notable exception is the episode "A Christmas Carol", in which the Doctor has roughly an hour to save a crashing space ship. His solution takes years to execute.
- A variation appears in The Day of the Doctor, in which a centuries-long calculation to disintegrate a door with the sonic screwdriver is carried out instantly by having an earlier incarnation of the Doctor program it in and a later incarnation read out the result from a centuries-older version of the device. The same technique is used on a larger scale to enable all the Doctor's incarnations working in concert to isolate Gallifrey from the timestream, removing it from the Time War without destroying it.
- In Touhou, Sakuya often use her time manipulation power to speed up housework.