How often do we feel like we have too little time? Even though our schedules are full and our to-do lists are long, the number of hours in the day remains the same. Journalist Mariska Jansen examines how the perception of time works, but mostly how we can manage to feel less rushed.
In the day-to-day merry-go-round of available hours, it’s all about the choices you make in the things you spend your time doing. The fact that you choose to go to your brother-in-law’s birthday party, for instance, but turn down the invitation to another party on the same night. It might also not be such a good idea to agree to meet up with old friends who you like yet don’t have so much in common with anymore.
Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, the US-based author of Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less, says that when it comes to creative work, we actually get much more done when we do focused work for a short period of time and then structure time off for rest and reflection. In an interview with American author and host of the Hurry Slowly podcast, Jocelyn K. Glei, Pang says that the greatest minds usually work a four-hour workday, and that they cultivate leisure so that their minds have time to process that focused work.
When you look at it objectively, there is no such thing as too little time. An hour always lasts 60 minutes; there has never been an hour that only has 40 or 50 minutes. In other words, a shortage of time is actually about something else – making better or different use of the available time.You could, for example, consciously try experiencing time in the slow-motion setting every now and then during a certain activity.
A colleague once told me about a 2,000-piece puzzle that she would put together with her housemates on rainy nights. The mere idea that she worked on a puzzle in this homey scene gave me (and her, in all likelihood) a deeply peaceful feeling. I bought a puzzle for myself not long after hearing her story, and just allowing myself this little pleasure gives me the wonderful feeling of having an overabundance of time.
- The full story ‘Too little time?’ can be found in Issue 26.
Text Mariska Jansen Photography Fredrik Öhlander/Unsplash.com