These days, it feels like every year is passing by faster and faster. Your life seems like it’s passing by like a video on 1.5x speed – you know it’s happening, but before you can fully appreciate a certain period or phase, it’s over. While we can’t slow down time itself, we can definitely change our perception of its flow to make the moments last a little bit longer.
Ease up on the to-do list
An endless stream of deadlines and tasks makes you want to wring the productivity out of every passing second. When you attach material value to your time, it will definitely feel like it’s passing faster. All the deadlines also contribute to high levels of stress and make you feel like you’re perpetually on edge, so for the sake of your health and perception of time, ease up on your to-do list. Instead, focus on maximising your time by ditching unproductive habits. Multitasking is one such habit that actually wastes more time than if you focused on doing your tasks separately and efficiently.
Learn and try new things all the time
The days seemed endless when you were a child, didn’t they? It’s not the freedom from worries and deadlines that make you feel like you had all the time in the world, it’s also the fact that you learned and tried new things regularly as a child. As adults, we should aspire to be more like children in the way they see the world – with wonder, curiosity and the insatiable desire to learn more. Doing things differently will help you see the world in a different light and engage your brain to pay attention to what’s going on, so that every day feels like a new and memorable adventure. Little changes in your everyday life are all you need. For example, try new recipes when cooking or plan a family holiday at a different location than the usual crowd favourites.
Use your phone less
Scientific research has found that our increasing consumption of information and media on our phones makes our brain work faster because we are processing information at a quicker pace (due to its rampant availability). A brain working in overdrive will naturally feel like time is passing by at a quicker pace, so perhaps it may be a good idea to reduce the number of hours you use your phone on a daily basis.
Once you've put your phone away, you can make use of all that extra time by putting it towards meditation instead. Why? Because meditation increases your awareness and helps to adjust your perception of time. When you’re meditating, time will probably feel like it’s passing by really slowly. That’s just because you’re fully in the moment and aware of every passing second. Just 5 minutes of mindful meditation a day will pass this changed perception of time over to your daily life. Find the ideal time to meditate when your mind is calm and allow yourself to sit down, close your eyes and focus on your breathing. You don’t have to control your breathing – just focus on the physical act of breathing (in and out) and keep your attention to it.
Whenever time feels like it’s rushing you by, comfort yourself with the knowledge that it actually isn’t. It’s just your perception of time that’s making you feel that way, and perception can ultimately be changed. Life is short, so don’t let it pass you by!