Day 67 of lockdown: Prior to this we all were accustomed to a structured schedule and pace however uncertainty is the new normal in the pandemic. Monday is the same as Sunday and one can barely differentiate between any day of the week. We no longer have a sense of time. Is the clock striking slowly or fast? What is the effect of time distortion on the mental health and well-being of people?
For some people slow passage of time is positively correlated to poor mental health as it causes boredom, anxiety and depression. We experience intense emotional distress due to our perception of time. For instance, some define themselves by how effectively they spend their valuable time and ergo, get anxious or experience self-coercion to be productive. For some having numerous activities at hand and sources of entertainment can be decoupling or tedious. Hence, we may fail to demonstrate meaningful behaviour and successfully finish the tasks at hand as boredom causes distraction and is linked to inferior self-control.
An experiment was conducted by Andriy Struk, University of Waterloo and had interesting repercussions on the matter. The experiment concluded that participants with numerous activities were more bored than participants left alone with their thoughts.
Do you think boredom rises as opportunity cost rises? I think one may get anxious when they learn they could be using that time for other purposes. Individual circumstances do vary, but perhaps it’s time to cut down from numerous activities and efficiently focus on the significant ones. Maybe change your behaviour and start by making three decisions each day to successfully accomplish those immediate tasks. This will not only reduce boredom and anxiety but improve your mental health and cause greater satisfaction.