Working hours and the way society is articulated cause an endemic lack of quality of life, hours of leisure and connection with the people we love.
The lack of time generates a gradual and evident psychological suffering. We are almost like that white rabbit from Alice in Wonderland who runs with a clock repeating over and over again that of "I'm late, I'm late for a very important appointment, no time, no time ...". The feeling that we always lack hours for almost everything is already a constant in much of us.
Living subject to obligations, a strict routine and those tasks that extend to infinity and the unspeakable, puts walls to well-being and personal growth. Sometimes, we are so focused on a type of reality that we do not see that around us, there are more doors, more worlds and opportunities. Time is not money, it is life and we end up losing it in many ways.
Our health is failing because of that endemic lack of rest, satisfaction and that psychological well-being that is part of the moments of leisure. We lose existential quota because the years sometimes pass in a sigh and with them, the dreams that can no longer be realized, experiences that we will no longer live in our own skin and most importantly… We miss moments shared with the people we love.
Lack of time is already a new form of "poverty"
We have all heard at some point that there is no lack of time, there is a lack of interest. It is true that sometimes this reality can occur. However, in recent years we have seen a scenario as complex as it is problematic, in which it is worth pausing. First of all, we live in a society that conceives of being "busy" with being "productive."
We integrate early on the idea that occupying our day with multiple tasks dignifies us. The more things you do, the more you say about yourself and be careful not to be idle, because whoever allows himself to rest is because he may sneak up on responsibilities. All of these ideas have for years undermined physical and psychological health.
However, in recent times another factor has been added: working conditions are more complex and an example of this is teleworking. This work modality, still lacking adequate regulation, subjects us (on average) to a situation of high overload in which schedules are diluted and can be extended beyond the stipulated days.
If we also add family and home responsibilities, the lack of time is not only evident, it is an overwhelming fact.
The feeling of guilt
We occupy much of our waking hours with work. Beyond these hours, we take advantage of the remaining time for unavoidable obligations, such as shopping, caring for the children or fulfilling those other tasks that are essential. After all this, we only have fatigue and the overwhelming desire to go to bed and rest.
When this dynamic is repeated day after day, the feeling of guilt inevitably appears. Guilt for not taking care of ours as we would like, for not having more time for a partner, friends, children, pets ... Likewise, that feeling is also projected onto oneself.
We regret the lack of time to do what we like, what identifies us. We put off getaways, trips, courses that we will never do, books that accumulate and that we will not get to read… All these realities undermine self-esteem and sap our spirits.
Social networks and the lives we would like to have
Lack of time and its relationship with psychological suffering are in turn intensified with the use of technology. Despite being almost always busy and with the list of our pending tasks to accomplish, we always find a moment to browse our social networks.
Happiness tends to shine in those virtual universes, images of places that we would like to visit, experiences to try, things to discover, people to meet ... Those virtual windows can motivate us at certain times, but also sink us. Because that reality is not our reality, because our obligations do not always allow us those escapades, those opportunities ...
Lack of time and personal poverty
You can have an excellent job, have a good salary and still be poor. Because time poverty is another type of emotional, personal and psychological misery that penetrates deeply in today's society . Let's think about it, a good bank account is useless if we lack time to enjoy, to rest, to socialize ...
Lacking time robs us of happiness and also of life. Take, for example, the term karoshi , that word that designates in Japan people who die as a result of overwork. But be careful, not all of them do it due to burnout or heart or brain infarcts. Behind many of those losses are suicides.
How to start buying time to gain life?
Lack of time comes at a cost to mental health and this is something that requires change. The complex thing is that not everything depends on us. The way in which society and our schedules are articulated do not always allow us to reconcile the work with the personal, the professional with the familiar, and the obligatory with the desirable.
Research works such as those carried out by Dr. Therese Macan of the University of Missouri even indicate that, in these contexts, not even time management strategies are always useful. It may allow us to release some tension, but burnout, for example, will still be present.
It is true that a profound reformulation of our lifestyle is needed. However, as far as possible, we too can reflect on some aspects. These would be some ideas:
- Differentiate between the urgent and the important.
- Try to organize the day as soon as we get up, trying to put leisure and rest times on the agenda. It is essential to have an hour or two to do what we like.
- Learn to delegate responsibilities.
- Find time throughout the week to share with family and friends.
To conclude, let us not forget to reflect once again on this idea: lack of time is also poverty and this kind of emotional and existential misery also takes our lives little by little.