Does it feel like time is speeding up? Like you blink and yet another month or even year has gone by? Well all feel the same way but it isn’t time that is speeding up or slowing down, but our perception of time.
‘When we’re young, we experience everything for the first time, but as we age and do things more routinely, we don’t encode them as vividly in our memory – there’s no great surprising new information the brain needs to respond to’ – Marc Wittmann.
There are some things you can do to make it feel like time has slowed down and to make the most of every minute of our lives.
1. Change your routine every single day
We are creatures of habit and for many of us that will mean taking the same route to work, ordering the same lunch, going to the same grocery store and eating the same things week in, week out. While all of these routines are comforting, as our brains become accustomed to doing the same things over and over again we no longer recognise them as special therefore we are almost on auto pilot going through life.
Try mixing things up a bit, take a different drive or walk to work, try cooking something completely different or drive to a different shop for your weekly shopping. All of these little things will keep our brains on fire to process new places, memories, sounds and new things.
2. Get of your screen
Easier said than done, but have you noticed how quickly time flies when you you are aimlessly scrolling through socials or streaming back to back Netflix series? We do not suggest going completely tech free (that is almost impossible these days) but much like we do with children try to set time limits for yourself, restricting how much time you are willing to give away each day scrolling.
Set a timer and put your device away in another room or drawer and use the free time being productive, learning something, getting out in nature or painting, drawing, writing or creating.
3. Practice Mindfulness
There has been a lot written about mindfulness and for very good reasons, being present in the moment allows you to fully experience time as it is happening, without letting your brain wander through the past or on to the present. Read our tips on how to be more mindful here.
4. Pack more in
Strangely, while time seems to go tediously slow when you are at work, waiting for the kettle to boil, or when you are doing something mind numbing, this time is ‘boring time’ and not necessarily the time you want to be savouring. When you pack more fun, interesting and exciting things in to your life time will seemingly go by faster, however when you look back like you will have stretched time as it is packed with new memories and your perception will be that time has gone longer.
ele Tip – Remember that alcohol seemingly speeds time up and can make you forget large swathes of time so go easy or you may find that time starts going a little too fast on a fun night out!
5. Automate routine activities and free more time
Routine activities not only take up our precious time but because they are repetitive our brain doesn’t recognise them as something ‘new’ to observe, making the unmemorable and therefore they can pass by in a blur of ‘sameness’. By freeing up time you can pack more into your life or simply spend more of your time relaxing and enjoying life.
To do this you need to automate routine parts of your life that you aren’t enjoying. Still going to the grocery store every other day? Either commit to shopping only once a week or order online and let the hard work be done for you. Try a meal delivery service for the busy weeknights, try maximising and extending your gym workout so you don’t have to go as many days each week. Set up direct debits for bills and obligations to free time up from banking. If you have the means, employ a fortnightly cleaner to keep your house clean. Little automation hacks will make life easier and free up some of that precious time.
Want more? Click here for Ancient Relaxation Methods that Have Stood the Test of Time and here for How to Transform Your Life with the Power of Habit.