Some Notes on Time Anxiety
This week, I've been exploring the concept of Time Anxiety. Here are two excellent resources I've been referencing on this topic:
Dr. Alex Lickerman: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/happiness-in-world/201308/time-anxiety
Anne-Laure Le Cunff: https://nesslabs.com/time-anxiety
1. There are two fundamental questions we ask ourselves that can generate time anxiety.
1 - Am I creating the greatest amount of value with my life that I can?
2 - Will I feel, when it comes my time to die, that I spent too much of my time frivolously?
2. EVERYONE STARTS AT ZERO.
This is an undisputed, fundamental fact. So when we look at someone who's been doing something for years that we want to do, and they seem so far along the journey that we could never hope to ever 'catch up,' just remember that at one time that person started at zero. They knew nothing more than you do. The only difference is they started.
3. The first type of time anxiety: Current Time Anxiety.
The daily feeling of being rushed and feeling like there is not enough time to complete tasks.
4. The second type of time anxiety: Future Time Anxiety.
This anxiety consists of "what if" questions about the future: What will happen tomorrow, the following day, in one year, or in five years? The answers are typified by the worst-case scenario outcomes, even if they rarely occur.
5. The third type of time anxiety: Existential Time Anxiety.
This type of time anxiety is often the hardest to deal with. It is having the sensation that time is floating away and not coming back again. What's worse, while this is a fact, we feel helpless to do anything with the time we have left.
6. We are constantly trying to run away from the fact that time always moves forward and never backward.
The best solution to this is to remind yourself that the only time you're in control of is the present. Also, remember that you have to act today as a gift to your future self.
7. There are three things you can do to deal with time anxiety.
8. Ask yourself; What does time well spent mean to you?
What makes you happy regardless of the outcome? Think about whether or not you enjoy the process of learning, growing, and creating, and not what the outcome could bring. Ex: Enjoying the process of running every day and training for a marathon rather than focusing only on finishing a marathon.
9. Make time for these moments.
Look at your calendar and be honest - is there enough time to dedicate to these activities?
10. Try to cut out useless distractions.
They can make time anxiety worse. Replace them with things that are more creative or make you happy (hanging out with friends, learning an instrument, watching a movie, reading a book).