How to make Time go slower and enjoy life (even when you’re busy)

Feb 19 '22 • Written by Yassen Shopov
📖 --- minute read

Since the demographics for the readers of my blog tell me that most of you guys are between 15 and 30, I’m sure you will find the following scenario familiar.

You have been going to work/school from Monday to Friday. It is currently Sunday. You spent most of your time focused on your job or your studies. You spent your breaks from it on social media. You probably spent some chunk of time working out, cooking, cleaning, running errands. And now, if I ask you, “What was the most exciting thing that happened to you this week?”, it would take you a while to think of one.

Now, I am not saying that just because we are busy with work or studying, we automatically led boring lives - far from it.

Many people tend to find joy in their main activity, which is great, this is how it should be. However, even with the most enjoyable work, you’re still bound to find yourself doing repetitive tasks week by week by week. It sometimes happens that you reach the end of the month and apart from the few fun social events over the weekend, you find it hard to pinpoint exciting things that happened during your busy scheduled time.

There is a reason why time tends to move as fast as it does, even a few reasons, actually.

3 Reasons why time goes by fast

Reason #1: The older we grow, the less space does a week take up in our brain.

There is this theory that doesn’t seem too far from the truth, that says the passage of time is connected to our age. What people mean by that is that if you’re a 5-year old baby, 1 year is 20% of your life, and thus one-fifth of the entirety of your life experiences. Meanwhile, if you are 50, 1 year is just 2% of your total life so far. And every next year just feels incrementally less significant, as it feels like a much smaller time period when compared to the many that already passed.

I can definitely get behind this logic, even as a 21-year old. I do believe that your life circumstances affect this to an extent, though - the last few years were full of very significant events in my life, so it seems like they took their time and didn’t fly by. But on a week-by-week basis, I can definitely notice that the semesters in University do tend to pass by fast (especially when you write blogs like this one as a way of procrastinating work for your Electronics class).

Reason #2: We don’t remember every moment of our lives. The brain prioritises the novel and exciting.

This theory I can definitely agree with since we all remember the feeling of being under heavy lockdown. The monotonousness of being under quarantine made us lose track of time, so December 2020 felt not too different from April 2020, for example.

Since humans are season-abiding creatures as well, spending time outside is also important - we need to be exposed to the changes in weather, the transition from one season to another. And since we didn’t really do much but stay inside in 2020, this could have resulted in a lack of vivid memories.

Reason #3: Social media and smart technology overstimulate us, so our mood doesn’t fluctuate as it normally should.

This may sound like a farfetched definition and a bash against social media, but it has been proven that the brain releases a ton of different neurotransmitters as a reaction to exposure to social media.

You can notice this significance when observing older people, who are not as addicted to social media They tend to have much longer attention spans and find it easier to watch, let’s say, a 3-hour movie in one go, without pausing it every 10 minutes for an Instagram break. And since we are so hooked on those minimum-duration maximum-intensity experiences that social media provides, it means that we undervalue the actually exciting things that happen. It’s like expecting a cocaine addict to find a cup of coffee as exciting as their dose (excuse me for the harsh comparison, I just really appreciate coffee).

So, knowing what may cause the time to go by so fast, how can we make it go slower? Well, I found 3 things that help me keep track of my life events and keep my memory crisp and clear.

Document your life

This is a practice that I started at the beginning of 2021 when I started recording most of my life data in Notion, the all-in-one productivity app. It allows you to create tables and databases that you can customise.

One way in which I have been using this app is by keeping track of what I did every week of the year, 52 in total - stating my achievements, the progress towards my goals, etc.(I also kept a similar list for the months of 2021).

But honestly, apart from the very informative data I log, the most important function of this database is to keep my memory clear visually. I attach a picture to each week, either one I took myself or a stock image that well represents what I did during the week.

I must admit, this is the bit I think benefits me the most in terms of making time go by more slowly.

So this is my first piece of advice - document your life It doesn’t need to be in the form of a picture diary, even though we are quite visual creatures and tend to visit our memories in the form of afterimages.

Make room for the unexpected

Pick a strategy and then adjust

Why your life is slipping by so quickly


by Nathaniel Drew