There is a danger in viewing the clock as necessary for certain cognitive tasks simply because we use it for those tasks. The importance of clock time in twenty-first-century economic practices cannot be used as grounds for assuming that it was necessary for economic practices in the medieval period. This misconception is key to the view of medieval timekeeping as irregular or even nonexistent. As Rothwell points out, the use of clock time to represent the canonical hours of the Middle Ages distorts how time was reckoned, and "is at the root of many misunderstandings about the measurement of time in the Middle Ages" (1959, 241). This should give some cause for concern about the assumption that there was a lack of time consciousness in the Middle Ages because no clocks were used, and this also raises the very real possibility that the time consciousness of the Middle Ages is simply not translatable into clock time -- or put another way, time consciousness in the Middle Ages is not embedded in the logic of design of our modern clocks. This lack of uniform clock time is not a lack of awareness of time. On the contrary before the clock both informal and disciplined activities relied on ideas of timing and time  derived from a variety of environmental and liturgical cues (Glennie and Thrift 2002, 159) -- liturgical cues were publicly significant because they were often signaled by bells and adapted to secular purposes, as will be discussed later. How time was reckoned in medieval Europe in comparison to industrial Europe reveals a shift in cognitive process away from the perception of multiple indicators of time that needed to be reconciled, and toward modern horological thought that unquestioningly relies on clocks to measure duration to indicate time." -- p. 52.

How would you describe your “time consciousness?”

Augustine of Hippo wrote, "What, then, is time? If no one asks me, I know; if I want to explain it to someone who asks me, I do not know" (1997 [ca. 397-98], 256). The question stumps us for quite different reasons. We surround ourselves with cognitive artifacts to tell us what time is, and the time these artifacts represent is demonstrably confused in accuracy. We have hyper-accurate atomic clocks and a calendar that poorly represents the duration of the earth's orbit. The nature of time's existence is confused by cognitive artifacts and by the human invention of the time constructs these artifacts indicate. . . . It is ironic that Derrida, the arch-postmodernist, choose absolute temporal uniformity, and that the physicists adopt relativity. The ideas of time important for daily life and the construction of knowledge are dependent on objects, and the presently used objects -- modern calendars and clocks -- are relatively recent in their form and design. Their synchronization across different contexts is still more recent. Whereas there are cognitive benefits from the precision derived from the measurement of small durations and there are also cognitive benefits in unburdening the mind from having to calculate the time, it is also the case that these devices have channeled cognition in specific ways. When not recognized, this channeling, I argue, constrains our ability to understand time across cultures and to ascertain temporal characteristics of our world not subject to the clock and calendar. By deferring cognitive processes to these objects, we run the risk of diminishing our ability to think about time, and we also run the risk as Greenhouse states for clocks, of using the objects as "a materialization of some universal time sense" (1996, 7). -- pp. 30 -31.

“What, then, is time?”