We’re Not as Short on Time as We Think
Time flies when you’re having fun, the saying goes. But is it really so? The clock ticks at the same implacable rate, of course, no matter what we’re doing. But if we think back on trips, parties, a romantic encounter or an exciting film, it often seems as if time stood still, that we experienced far more during those moments than in the everyday grind.
In reality it seems as if the perceived time gets slower when we are having fun! What the saying means perhaps is that we wish we had more hours on the clock for what is truly fun and meaningful. How can we make that happen?
Today we have more time than ever
It can be healthful to realize that we actually are not particularly short on time.1 We even have more time today than a century ago. The median age has increased by over 20 years in the past 100 years.1 That means about 175,000 more hours at our disposal in life!
The crux is that the quantity of activities that we want to squeeze into this span of time has increased so dramatically. Travel, shopping and entertainment. TV, Internet, smartphones. Parties, club activities and courses. The number of activities must naturally be adjusted to fit within the limited hours of the day. Many do the opposite, however, and think they can adjust time by being “efficient.” Activities are squeezed in and checked off in a steady stream, but perhaps are not always so enjoyable — the perceived time goes faster and faster with stress hormones racing in your blood.
How much time do you have for your health?
”I don’t have time to exercise,” many people say. Or, ”I don’t get around to preparing healthy food.” Even if we are bound by activities, social obligations or illness, we still have a certain amount of freedom to prioritize how we fill our time – and how high we prioritize our health.
Perhaps there are things that are more important than health. But almost certainly can you think of something, out of everything you do on a typical day, that you can let go of to get half an hour extra for what will help you feel well in the long term.
Health can seldom be achieved through efficiency. We need to actively set aside time for it, which means that something else must get a lower priority.
How could you create more time for your health?
1. Bodil Jönsson. Tio tankar om tid.