How to deal with the feeling that there's "never enough time" - Deepstash
How to deal with the feeling that there's "never enough time"

How to deal with the feeling that there's "never enough time"

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How to deal with the feeling that there's "never enough time"

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William Penn

"Time is what we want most, but what we use worst".

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Time anxiety is the feeling that you have not done enough to meet your goals or that you're not using the time you do have effectively.

Time anxiety is more than feeling overwhelmed at times - it haunts your days and causes you to procrastinate on essential tasks.

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The irony is the more we focus on the limited time we do have, the more restricted our time feels.

Time had little impact on us as children. We used to spend our days with mostly unstructured games and learning. As we became teenagers, time started to gain importance. As adults, time becomes an essential and scarce resource that we have to attempt to control.

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Three types of time anxiety

Time anxiety shows up as:

  • Daily time anxiety: It is the feeling of not having enough time in your day.
  • Future time anxiety: You feel paralyzed thinking through every 'what if?' that may or may not happen.
  • Existential time anxiety: The feeling of only having a limited time to live your life.

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Overcoming time anxiety boils down to awareness, understanding, and action.

Being aware of what you spend your time on can lessen your anxiety. But too much observation over every aspect of your life can add to your time anxiety. It's about finding a balance between awareness and action.

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Acknowledge your relationship with time

Truths about time:

  • Time exists.
  • You can't stop the clock from moving or slow it down.
  • You only have control over what you do in the future.

Time anxiety increases when we try to ignore or manipulate the ways time impacts our day. Acknowledging these truths can reduce anxiety and help you move forward.

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Ask yourself what a good day looks like at work and home.

  • Body: What do you want to do to feel healthy?
  • Mind: What engages your mind in a good way?
  • Love: Who do you want to spend your time with?
  • Work: What work or tasks make you feel good?
  • Money: How do you want to use the money you do have?
  • Play: What hobbies or activities do you really enjoy?

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Understand the planning fallacy

We often think 8 hours of work time means we can schedule all 8 hours. However, most people have at best 2.5 hours of real productive time a day.
At work, most people spend:

  • 15% of their time in meetings,
  • 25-30% on email, chat, and video calls, and
  • 40% multitasking and working sub-optimally.

This breakdown can help you understand the limitations you have to work within. The goal is to be realistic about what you can do with the time you do have.

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To feel motivated, you first need to act, then motivation will follow.

Look at your time well-spent activities and fit them into your day. In other words, think how and when your most meaningful tasks will fit into a real day. Understanding how to use your limited supply of time on what truly matters will help you cut out time-wasters that add to your time anxiety.

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  • Maximizers try to make a choice that will give the maximum benefit later on.
  • Satisficers make choices according to their set of current criteria. Nothing more.

Trying to maximize every day will lead to more time anxiety. Instead, use your time well-spent activities and decide on what fits your time best now**.**

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Maria Edgeworth

"If we take care of the moments, the years will take care of themselves."

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