It’s true what they say: time flies when you’re having fun.
Why is it that some years seem to drag on as you count your way through the days, while others just fly by?
You feel like you blink and you have missed out on half it.
Where did that time go?
If you’re feeling like this year has gone by so fast, you’re not alone.
It’s a common feeling.
We share 10 reasons you might be feeling this way, to help you understand where it’s coming from.
1) Our memories are less vivid
As you age, you lost than amazing imagination and vivid memory that comes from youth.
Instead of remembering all the tiny details of our day, we compartmentalize and place them into memory blocks. This makes time feel like it’s going so much faster, as we have fewer memories building up.
Ask a child how they got home from school. They will give you the most vivid description from running out of the school gate to walking along the way, stopping to pat a dog, crossing the road then arriving home.
Ask yourself the same question: you’ll likely just answer that you walked.
There’s the big difference as we aga. And because of this, in our mind, it can make it feel like time is passing so much faster.
2) Too much stress
A huge amount of stress is another factor that can make it feel like time is passing us by.
Think back on your year so far, have you been under pressure from work or personal life?
Time pressure to meet deadlines can creep up on us and make it feel like we lost time in the process. Have you ever had a project due and as the date approached asked yourself: where did that time go?
You’re so preoccupied stressing about the deadline and trying to get the work done that you’re not paying as much attention to the passing of time.
3) You’re doing the same thing every day
When you are following the same schedule each and every day, it’s easy to feel like time is passing by you quicker than you can count.
The monotony of your routine makes it hard to distinguish one day from the next.
Everything simply blends into one as you lose track of the days.
Routine is a great thing to have in your life. But it can also help to mix things up every now and then.
It helps you to create new memories and breaks up your days.
4) Your own clock is running slower
Believe it or not, but science has shown that as we get older, our own internal clock starts running slower.
This means that life around us seems to speed up for no reason.
It’s all about our perception of time.
From about the age of 20, our release of dopamine starts to drop, which causes this strange phenomenon.
It could be a simple matter of life just appearing to go much faster around you as you’ve slowed down.
5) Time anxiety
This is another reason you might be feeling like time is just speeding by you in life.
Time anxiety is something that can show up in a number of different ways. Ask yourself these questions:
- Do you always feel the need to rush?
- Do you find yourself in a mood when you’re running late?
- Do you feel uneasy when you don’t get all your tasks at hand done?
- Do you often think that you missed out on opportunities?
If this sounds like you, then there’s a good chance that you might be suffering from time anxiety. You’re so anxious about time and what you can achieve in the time you have, that you feel like it’s passing by you all too quickly.
Which it probably is!
A fixation on time tends to make it pass by even faster – ironically making it even harder for you to achieve these goals you’ve set for yourself.
6) You’re a parent
Research has actually shown that time passes more quickly for parents.
And it’s easy to understand why. It turns out that watching children grow up really does make time fly.
Scientists have shown that parents perceive time as passing more quickly than those who aren’t parents. But, why is this?
It’s believed it’s because our children change so quickly in such a short amount of time. In fact, sometimes you sneeze and swear that your child grew a foot in those seconds.
Time is going so fast in your head because your children are growing so fast.
Parents are always being told to treasure the time, as your kids only stay little for so long. It’s entirely true.
7) You’re having fun!
Yes, it’s true what they say: time really does fly when you’re having fun.
Think about it: if you take three months off work to travel the world, it’s going to go so much faster than if you were at work at the same time.
Because you want time to slow! You’re enjoying every minute and wishing you had even more.
On the other hand, when you’re at work, you’re more than likely counting down the time until you can leave.
If you’ve ever sat there and counted time, you know all too well just how slowly it goes when you’re paying attention to every second.
Make sure you soak up every minute you enjoy of your time to try and make it last that much longer.
8) You’re planning a big event
Do you have a big event happening at the end of the year?
Perhaps you’re getting married?
Maybe you have a baby on the way?
You could have a big holiday planned?
Having something to look forward to in life is a great mood booster, but when you’re planning something that needs a lot of time and attention from you, the clock can start ticking and time can disappear before your eyes.
A wedding, baby, and holiday all involve a lot of planning ahead.
Planning that you might not have time for, so you keep pushing it aside thinking it’s ages and ages away.
Yet, all this does is make it creep up even faster on you.
Time flies for the simple fact you’re so busy!
You haven’t had a chance to stop and catch your breath.
It might be the case that you just have too much on your plate. Start saying no to things and you’ll find that time starts to slow as you find more time to prepare for that big event.
9) You’re busier than ever
You may not have an event your planning, but just be living a very busy life.
Whether it’s at work or in your home life, being busy can really suck away that time.
You find yourself running on autopilot and running from one moment to the next in an attempt to tick all the right boxes and get ahead of your to-do list.
It’s no wonder time passes so quickly. You’re fighting against the clock on a daily basis, and in general, it’s beating you.
You might need to shred a few items from your to-do list and take a little of that pressure off you. Remember, the dishes can wait – they’ll still be there tomorrow.
10) You’ve found your passion
Do you love what you do?
Do you wake up excited every morning to do it?
Well done, what a happy place to be in. It’s no wonder time is just flying for you, you’re enjoying it so much.
Stuck in a boring job you hate and have no passion for can really drag time down. You find yourself watching the clock and counting down the minutes until you can leave.
Having a passion for life can definitely speed things up and leave you wondering where the time went.
Make sure you take a pause every now and then to soak up the moments and really appreciate what you have going. It’s the perfect way to help time slow down as much as possible for a little bit.
Slowing time down
Wanting to slow time down a little? (Don’t we all). Believe it or not, it is actually possible with these tips.
1) Live in the moment
All too often we are so busy thinking ahead and planning for what’s next.
On the train ride home, we are thinking about what we might cook for dinner.
Sitting in the doctor’s clinic, we are thinking of our ever-growing to-do list at home.
Waiting in a queue, we are planning our workday ahead.
It’s natural to always think ahead, but not helpful.
By living in the moment, watching the people around you, and soaking everything in, you are taking back control of time.
Effectively, you’re slowing it down momentarily.
The trick is to bring your attention to the here and now.
Don’t think of time as the enemy that is just constantly passing you by.
Instead, think of it as your friend, giving you all these moments to really take part in life.
It will help time slow down for you.
2) Take on smaller projects
One of the reasons time passes so quickly is due to stress.
It can help to break down the stress by taking on smaller projects with shorter deadlines.
Take a moment to breathe in between each one and catch up on time. This will stop you from getting to the end of a big project and wondering where all that time went in the process.
This can be applied to daily life as well. Break up your day into a series of mini-projects, rather than thinking of it as one big rush to get through.
Make a list:
9 am: get kids to school
9 am – 10 am: vacuum house
10 am – 11 am: clean floors
By breaking up the day like this, you stop to check in frequently and are very aware of the passing of time. It helps to slow things down.
3) Focus on mindfulness
Similar to living in the moment, you can use meditation as a tool to help slow time down.
There are so many different guided meditations online, from just a few minutes long to an hour plus. There are no excuses not to take a little time out of your day to try it.
Meditation brings you into the present moment and helps you focus on your body.
It helps you to leave behind your stresses and worries and to stop and enjoy life for a minute.
We are often rushing from one thing to the next with no concept of time.
Meditation helps slow all of that down for us.
4) Take on new experiences
By stepping out of your comfort zone and breaking free from your usual routine, you can help time slow down for a little bit.
It’s simple, just try saying yes more often to any opportunities that present themselves.
You don’t have to think big for this one. It might be visiting a new park with the kids or heading out to a new restaurant with your partner.
As we mentioned above, we tend to create memory blocks as we get older that make it seem as though time is passing much faster.
By creating new memories that are going to stay prominent in our mind, it’s a great way to help time slow down for a little.
5) Learn something new
Another great way to escape the monotony of everyday life is to learn something new.
Whether you choose to go back to university to study, or simply want to take up a hobby where you can learn something, it doesn’t have to be big.
It works in the same way as taking on new experiences above. As you learn, you’re creating new memories in your brain.
You’re filling it up with useful facts, which in turn is slowing downtime for you.
It will make you feel like you’re getting more out of your time.
So, when you look back you won’t be wondering where the time has gone, you’ll know it was time well spent learning something useful or new.
6) Take a leaf from your child’s book
If you have young kids, siblings, or cousins, then simply step back and watch them for a little bit.
They don’t question where time has gone. They make use of every single minute of it.
While it would be nice to experience the world the same way they do, the next best thing is to get down onto their level and share in it.
Plan away an afternoon playing of make-believe. Be present at the moment with the child, so you can see the world the same way they do.
It’s the perfect way to ground yourself and encourage yourself to appreciate the little things.
You won’t be wondering where the time went – it will be time well spent.
7) Cut down the stress
If you have too much going on in your life, then it’s time to lose some of the baggage. It’s weighing you down and sucking time away from you that could be better spent on other things.
This could be a friend that’s causing you stress, a job, or a home life. It’s time to find what can give and where and start to make a few changes.
Being less busy and freeing up some time for yourself is the perfect way to slow time down. Give yourself the opportunity to find yourself. Plus, you need it. The last thing you want is to burn out!
8) Head into nature
Leave that clock/watch/phone at home and step away from the screens for a little while.
It’s amazing what a breath of fresh air can do for us and our mood.
Out in nature, there is no time for you to worry about. You can simply step away from your problems and stresses in life and escape from it all for a little while.
Enjoy the scenery, soak up the blue skies and enjoy being in the moment with everything in front of you. It’s almost like hitting the reset button on time. Helping get you back in control of it once again before you head back to the busyness of your daily life.
The passing of time
Time is a funny concept and our perception of time definitely changes as we get older. Some years will definitely feel like they go faster than others. For example, 2020 was the year that COVID-19 hit, and many countries were sent into lockdown. Yet the year seemed to fly past, right? This is because we weren’t out there making new memories and experiencing new things.
The days rolled into each other as we isolated at home and it was hard to distinguish one from the last. Our perception of time changed and sped up in the process.
Think back to the year you’re having so far. Is there anyone reason it might be appearing to fly by? If you’re wanting to slow things down a little, use some of our tips above and see how long it takes for you to notice the difference.
Some years just naturally go faster than others – whether this is a good thing or a bad thing is up to you to decide.