As a person with (time) anxiety, I always struggle with trying to make my time and life meaningful. I am bombarded with what if’s.
What if I never get the chance to do this ever again? What if I don’t have time tomorrow to do that or this? What if tomorrow I want to do this same activity I did today then I won’t ever be able to do the other activity that I wanted to do today too!
For example, my weekends are not filled with relaxation like it is supposed to. Except I spend my weekends wondering what I should do and whether a certain activity is necessary. I am constantly worrying about time and wondering what I must do to make the best use of my weekend.
Another example, holiday breaks! I want to spend those times working on things I haven’t had time to do because of school, such as blogging, drawing, or writing more.
I am so overwhelmed with all the things I could do, but then also by what I shouldn’t be doing because time is so precious. And so, I end up not doing anything that I would like to do, which I end up sulking at the end of the day.
Why I do this is because I want to make the best use of my time – that everything I do has to be meaningful.
I did some research on “time anxiety,” and I came across an article written by Alex Lickerman, M.D., author of The Undefeated Mind: On the Science of Constructing an Indestructible Self, who said he also suffers from time anxiety.
However, it isn’t time he is anxious about but meaning, he said.
I think I, too, am obsessed with trying to give my life meaning and a tiny mixture of chronophobia. Sometimes even exhausted. I always find myself wanting to find ways to give my life meaning so that my time is not simply wasted.
He also asked something I thought it was worth pondering upon.
Lickerman asked whether you’re really more anxious about what your life means or that what you’re doing isn’t meaningful enough?
If it’s the latter, he encouraged you to figure out what is meaningful enough and start doing that.
“If the contribution you’ve decided to spend your life making already does not feel the most meaningful contribution you could make…because you’re not always spending your time making it, remind yourself…that you don’t need to focus every minute of your life on value creation for value creation to have been what your life was all about.” -Alex Lickerman, M.D.
Although you want these meaningful contributions to give your life a meaning, you don’t need to solely focus on them every minute of your life. Whether you’re writing a book, starting a YouTube channel, selling art, trying to be a better person, etc., always exercise those skills and slowly work on those contributions, but take breaks as well.
Be an asshole. You don’t have to be nice all the time. Being nice is so tiring.
There are other great things you can and should be experiencing. Not to end on a morbid note but we’re all going to die anyway, right?