Feel Like You Never Have Enough Time?

Paradoxically, maybe you need to give some away.

I’d be willing to bet that at least once a week, you have some kind of subtle panic reaction when you think about what you’re doing with your time. We see this everywhere – people are always saying “I’d love to, but let me check my schedule” unconsciously knowing darn well that they just generally feel like life won’t let them have enough time for anything.¬† I even find myself occasionally pausing when someone asks me about doing something as simple as meeting for coffee. It’s like I have some time account somewhere that I fear is overdrawn because I haven’t balanced the ledger recently, and I’m worried I’ll get penalties for bouncing my time checks or something. Part of this is simple time management stuff, but part of it may be the QUALITY of your time, rather than the quantity of it. The facts are that first of all, time is an arbitrary measure of something that can’t be stored or saved. Or deferred. It’s going to “keep going”, to the extent that it exists at all. The second thing is, we actually have more leisure time than at almost any point in human history.

So how could giving away some of your time possibly ease your frustrations about how much you have? Well, a recent study by a trio of academics from Wharton, Yale, and Harvard ended up with some interesting results. This piece from the Association for Psychological Science covers it in detail, but the gist of the idea is that when subjects were given either an altruistic task to complete, a mundane task, or leisure time, the subjects that were assigned a task that involved helping someone tested as perceiving themselves to have more time than even the subjects who had enjoyed leisure time.

Feeling short on time? Maybe you should stop reading and go give some of it away!

About Ian

Ian is a media consultant, writer, musician, and budding public speaker with an eye on being the next Ellen. Ian's interest in helping others find success and happiness stems from his experience with events planning and media consulting with organizations like Interfluence.com and the Kenya/US NGO Amara Conservation from 2000-2008, which taught him how little we all know about what we're really doing. From 2008 until April of 2011, Ian wrote for and maintained the site DissociatedPress.com. Ian learned long ago that the journey to success may take occasional detours, and often eschews the road map in favor of taking in life's scenery. His first business venture was a small telecom company in the late 1980's, but subsequent ventures included pursuing a pop music career, screenwriting, and the foodservice and retail employment that often follows such pursuits. After struggling with addiction for years, Ian is happily embracing recovery and the clarity it brings.