Our Daily Struggle With Time Famine
If you do these five things each day, you will find more time, be able to focus more clearly and, most of all reduce stress.
Remember back in grade school when our report cards were determined by how well we used our free time and whether we stayed focused and concentrated? Little did we know that time management was as vital as any history or math lesson. Being young often allows us to feel that we have ample amounts of time. But as we grow older, time condenses, and 24 hours in a day is never enough. So, we make small sacrifices. We spend less time with our families. We simply dedicate ourselves to our to-do list and then panic to get our work accomplished. This condition of being overwhelmed by a lack of time has provided us with a new phrase: “Time Famine.”
Our friends at Exploding Topics scour the Internet for emerging topics, surfacing the next big thing and the new trends that will shape the future. They’ve identified a rapid uptick in people discussing “Time Famine” the past few months as we all assess what truly contributes to our own success.
“Time Famine” is a term that first emerged in scientific literature around 1999. It refers to a universal feeling of having too much to do and not enough time to satisfy those demands. Former UCLA Basketball Coach John Wooden once said: “If you don’t have the time to do it right, when will you have the time to do it over?” He was referring to “Time Famine” before the idea was ever born.
We’ve all heard the phrase “Time is money.” But the truth is that time is more valuable than any currency. Even Bill Gates, one of the richest individuals in the world, admits the only thing that he cannot buy is more time. When you lose money, you have the potential to earn it back. With time, once it’s lost, it will never be seen again; therefore, equating the two is inaccurate.
According to a 2017 study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), obesity is one of the most dangerous side effects of time famine. When our agendas overwhelm us, the first things we tend to sacrifice are eating well and exercising, ultimately causing problems that last longer than any to-do list.
One of the benefits of being confined during the pandemic has been the usage of the word NO. Because we cannot travel or take on more projects, we don’t have to say no — the pandemic controls our calendars. By restricting our physical appointments, we have discovered more time in our day. We found Zoom. We found Slack. We found new ways to do old stuff, which then allowed us to have more hours in our day.
Now that we know “Time Famine” causes health concerns, we must take this condition seriously. We need to return to our grade school days when we made time for the essential parts of our daily life.
Quiet time: We need to put down our phones for at least three hours per day. Spend time thinking, observing, and allowing our minds to relax—This means no social media.
Recess: Spend time outdoors, go for a walk, work out, do something physical. No one is allowed to sit during recess.
Writing Class: Journal in the morning, take time to write your thoughts on a piece of paper, allowing your mind to wonder.
Community Circle: Limit the number of people you allow to evade your time, become integrated into your calendar. Tighten your community.
Silent Reading: Spend an hour a day reading. Plan the hour on your calendar. A person who does not read is no better off than a person who cannot read.
If we do these five things each day, we will find more time, be able to focus more clearly, and, most of all, reduce the stress caused by “Time Famine.”
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