Monday, June 24, 2024

High Speed ​​Train .. Why do we feel like there is not enough time?


In 1930, the English economist John Maynard Keynes predicted that economic growth over the next century would lead to a reduction of the working day to just 15 hours per week, so humanity would face a different challenge, which is how to fill the empty hours. At the time, it seemed logical indeed, at a time when technologies were being developed to save the time that humans consume in all life practices, but despite this, what the English economist predicted never happened.

Although our average life expectancy has become longer than that of previous generations, and despite the diffusion of technologies that surround us, the feeling of lack of time continues to haunt us. In the past, the rhythm of the day was largely fixed; Work schedules, TV schedules and meal schedules The day seemed long and we had a lot of free time, but today, although we can theoretically do more things faster and with less effort thanks to technology, we are practically more distracted and less Sakina, for What is time slipping from our hands and we can hardly keep up with it? (one)

Tasks are really expanding

In 1957 the British historian Cyril Northcott Parkinson, in his critique of bureaucracy, explained how work stretches out to fill the time available for completion, and how expenses increase to cover all income, a law that applies to our management. of personal time to this day. , when in fact we tend to occupy all the available hours. do something It is the same phenomenon called “vacui horror”, a Latin expression that can be translated as “amazement at the void”, and it appeared in art in some periods such as the baroque, where artists tended to occupy all spaces in their paintings , what we seem to do today; We fill up all the time, so this constant worry can be said to comfort us.

Time Awareness: Control Your Time to Live More Prosperous and Creative, by Cristina Benito.

Cristina Benito says in her book “Time Awareness: Control your time to live more prosperous and creative” that this desire to occupy every moment of our day is due to three reasons: The first is that we focus poorly on productivity, we like The Baroque artists – they feel that occupying all the time is what adds value to us, and we overlook the importance of emptiness to inspire us with new ideas. The second reason is our sense of obligation to please others, which motivates us to occupy our time with their requests, we go to a party even if we do not feel like doing it instead of staying at home reading a book or walking. We obey the will of others for fear of losing them, and we pay for that fear with the only currency that we cannot change; The moment has come. As for the third reason, it is the fear of being alone, for this reason we occupy our time with work commitments so that we do not have time to think, thus we get rid of asking ourselves questions that bother us, perhaps the most annoying of all. What is the question: Is this the life I want to live? Thus, we escape our reality by dealing with work and the noise of social networks to avoid the challenge. (two)

The hustle and bustle confuses us … Has our productivity increased?

But that feeling of constant worry doesn’t actually mean increased productivity. Multitasking takes 30% longer and causes twice as many errors. The worst thing is that if you try to do ten tasks at the same time, and you make a mistake in one of them, the errors will follow in other tasks, which means that more time is wasted than you think.

Well, you already know that those interruptions caused by smartphone notifications are time consuming, as well as the enormous mental energy you put into trying to refocus on work after the interruption, so the result is that we work longer hours and have fewer. breaks that are not clear, interrupted by checking emails from work mostly, even if it is at night, thus depriving us of free moments that can pass slowly and seem boring, but that support the motivation to work and the ability to be creative, and therefore the cycle. time-out begins (3)

In response to time pressures, we strive to be more efficient, even when that fails to relieve and reduce stress. Today we are concerned about making the most of our limited time. To do this, we have thousands of productivity applications; You can double the speed of audiobooks, videos, and audio messages, have a text editor that erases the words you typed if you don’t type fast enough to encourage achievement, and software to simulate ambient noise in a coffee shop to help you focus. at work, all this so you have time, but you hardly ever take it.

What appears to have happened is that the plethora of technologies designed to improve one’s productivity have exacerbated rather than quelled fears of wasted time (4). Instead, technology has given us endless opportunities to mix work and family life, for example, over the phone, we can send an email about work or send a message to a friend, so the choice is made. It leaves to the preferences of each one of us, which is why some people feel that the limited time is not due to the technology, but to the way we use it. (5)

Looking for new needs … to occupy all the time

Historical writings tell us that we are not the first to have a problem with time management. Previous generations realized this very early, as indicated by the writings of the Roman philosopher Lucius Seneca in the 1st century AD, in which he explains how this life that which is granted to us passes so quickly, that only a few are those who they know how to live it, and the Roman philosopher advised the people of that time not to worry about useless things and to “cook the body in the sun.” “

There is an important reason for this feeling that there is not enough time; And it is that the mental energy that allows us to carry out our tasks is not at the same level throughout the day.

As society progressed, the time pressure problem was supposed to get better, not worse, and economists are still looking for the reason why things are going this way, and the simplest answer seems to be “capitalism. ”, As the English economist Keynes puts it. He says, as soon as work can satisfy our basic needs and some other desires, we kept looking for new needs so it became impossible to reduce working hours to have more free time.

Think about what happened when gadgets proliferated, how it changed the lives of homemakers and homeworkers. Technology has saved a great deal of effort and time. It was possible to wash clothes without having to spend a whole day at work, carpets could be cleaned in minutes and cooked in less time after it was possible to freeze food and prepare vegetables for cooking. straight out of the box, not to mention the fast coffee machines.

But as the American historian Ruth Cowan explains in her book “More Work for Mother” published in 1983, the result in the 20th century was not an increase in the free time of housewives, as it seems obvious, but an increase in standards. hygiene. so that we have to work more than we left, and when there was some time left, we set out to answer work emails like why not and everything was clean and ready so we fell into the trap; We kept busy all the time and didn’t get rid of the feeling that we were rushing to finish our daily tasks, exactly as Parkinson’s told us. (6)

More Work for a Mother by American Historian Ruth Cowan.

There is another important reason for this feeling that there is not enough time; Which is that the mental energy that allows us to complete our tasks is not at the same level throughout the day, when our mental energy is at its highest point, it is easier for us to focus on tasks and we are able to solve problems more fast, and our brain works agile and efficiently, while on the contrary we are distracted when they are Our energy is low, and it is difficult for us to advance in the completion of tasks, that is why we work hard and take longer than necessary, and our production decreases by consequence.

We all have different levels of mental energy throughout the day, and most of us know that there are people during the day who are more active during the day and others whose mental abilities shine through at night, but the good news is that this is for us. give it a try. key to seize even a little time. Mental energy levels during the day can be divided into low, medium and high, and daily tasks according to the energy you need. We fall into the trap of completing easy tasks at times when mental energy levels are high, and then we try to do more difficult tasks while our mental energy levels are low, causing us to take longer and feel like we don’t have enough. weather.

A person has about 3.5 hours of high mental energy per day, and when we try to do difficult tasks beyond that, what happens is that we stumble on completing them at four or five o’clock, for example, so we spend two hours in a task that can be completed in an hour, due to fatigue and distraction when trying. The mind finds moments of rest to escape from work. (7)

Compressed in Time: The Acceleration of Life in Digital Capitalism by Judy Wagman.

In her book Pressed for Time The Acceleration of Life in Digital Capitalism, Jodi Wagman, Professor of Sociology at the London School of Economics, articulates the paradox. We have more free time than ever, but at the same time we suffer less time than ever, Wagman says, as we race to devise technology programs and ultra-fast tools to do our work, and we gobble up articles and books on habits, time management and increasing the productivity. We lost understanding with the most important thing that would help us in all that; Our brain.

We perceive time through our minds, and we think that it is not enough through them either, and Wagman states that stress and anxiety greatly influence our awareness of the finiteness of time, and points out the influence of the prevailing notion among us. that rushing in the performance of tasks and the constant hustle and bustle cause pride. (8)

But in fact, we make a big mistake when we extend our workday, sacrificing some luxury at the end of the day, such as exercising, spending time with friends, or even a few extra hours of sleep, as this affects work productivity. the next day, and here we feel that time is not enough, therefore, when you think at the end of a day to see where time has slipped and why you have not done as much as you expected, remember that many times it started. the day before, and that it’s all about good planning and prioritization. (9)



  1. Why Time Management Is Ruining Our Lives
  2. Why do I never have time?
  3. If you never have enough time … then slow down
  4. Why Time Management Is Ruining Our Lives
  5. Pressed for Time Book Review: Don’t Blame Technology
  6. Why Time Management Is Ruining Our Lives
  7. Why don’t I HAVE TIME for anything? A comprehensive analysis
  8. The real reason you never have time for what you want
  9. The real reason you never have time for what you want
  10. Why don’t I HAVE TIME for anything? A comprehensive analysis

Ebenezer Robbins
Ebenezer Robbins
Introvert. Beer guru. Communicator. Travel fanatic. Web advocate. Certified alcohol geek. Tv buff. Subtly charming internet aficionado.

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