Time Flying By

I’ve always (as far as I can remember) had the feeling that time went by too fast — except maybe during some long, unending summer holidays when I was a kid or young teenager. I’ve been thinking about that recently. What makes time seem to go by “too fast” is simply that I’m frustrated that I have accomplished what I thought I would in a given timeframe.

What makes it so difficult to evaluate what can be done in a day? How can I change my way of projecting myself in the future to be more realistic, or even better, pessimistic? Gosh, imagine if the story in my head went like this: “Wow, this was supposed to take all day, and I did it in 3 hours! I have lots of free time to do other stuff in, or relax!”

But that never happens. What happens is: “OK, I’ll be reasonable, and plan to write this blog post and send this e-mail today, even though I feel I should be able to do more in a day.” And at the end of the day, I’ve maybe written the blog post, but I haven’t sent the e-mail — or vice-versa — leaving me with a feeling of failure rather than accomplishment.

Just to make things clear: I’m not concerned about the “project management” aspect of evaluating how much time things take. I know that most of the time, we just can’t evaluate that correctly. What interests me is why we (or at least I) systematically over-evaluate what can be done in a day.

Not Fooling Myself

Some random stuff I’ve understood about the way I function, over the years, and things I need to pay attention to so that I don’t slide down slippery jungle paths.

For some reason, I seem to have this strange belief that if there’s something I need to do that I don’t quite feel like doing, it’ll go away if I ignore it — or I’ll magically feel like doing it later on. Things like doing the washing-up, taxes, but also cooking food, etc. I keep having to remind myself that no, I won’t feel like doing the washing up any more than right now if I go back to what I was doing and wait. One mechanism of procrastination debugged (well, it still pops up, but it’s a known bug).

A lot of my hardships in life come from a tendency to treat everything as a matter of life and death. Sometimes, simply remembering to treat a difficult situation as an “experiment”, to “see what happens” (rather than “succeed at all costs”), is enough to help me wind down and screw my head back on (not literally, but you see what I mean). A slightly more specific version of “take three steps back”, I guess.