How I feel about time

A big part of my life is spent worrying about time. Whenever I start an activity, I am constantly conscious of the seconds ticking away. Time that I could have spent doing something else, something more productive. So I yearn to finish the current thing as fast as possible so I can finally move on to the next thing. The productive thing. Only it never turns out that way. The next thing just causes the same feelings. The same anxiety that time is being wasted.

Is this caused by having too much to do, and too little time to do it? Probably not. Plenty of my time is still spent doing things that are completely unproductive (though I have the same time anxiety when doing those too). If this was actually a problem with overall productivity I’d cut those out quickly.

The anxiety could be caused by a difference between how I believe I should be spending my time and how I actually am spending my time. There’s a part of me that thinks I should be a robot. I should work 18 hours a day, 7 days a week. I should do nothing that isn’t productive. I should be achieving new breakthroughs on a weekly basis. Obviously, that’s a long way from how I actually spend my time.

My goals have time frames in terms of months. So everything is constantly in delivery mode. There’s no opportunity to meander through a problem, not rushing but just learning.

What if I was forbidden from being productive? What would I do then? Go out of my mind? It seems likely. But there may be a sweet spot. A time limit on working. Beyond that time limit, I am forbidden from doing anything productive. Would that help? Possibly, at least until I started trying to manipulate the rules anyway.

Finally, I’m not sure if I actually know what would be productive. And I mean objectively productive, not just whatever would make my time anxiety go away. There are always opportunity costs and most of the time everyone is completely unaware of what they are. Although perhaps that’s for the best.