Why do we still feel like we have no time even though we're not doing anything?

We have just completed our fourth week of lockdown, and we have at least three more weeks of this to come.

Compared to what our lives used to be like, we are absolutely swimming in time. Our manic schedules have been put on pause, indefinitely, and we finally have the space to take a breath.

Why then, are so many of us still feeling like we are just a touch too busy? Like we ‘don’t have time’ to get everything done?

All we have is time… so is this phenomenon of still feeling ‘too busy’ a consequence of poor time management? Or is it all in our heads?

Part of it comes down to our expectations. Within days of lockdown coming into force, the concept of staying at home began to be romanticised online and on social media. Suddenly, everyone was baking banana bread, colouring, meditating, going for runs, and posting about it in a frenzy of isolation oneupmanship.

Everybody online seemed to be talking about how they were going to fill the endless, empty hours that lay before them in lockdown, and coming up with gratingly wholesome ways to pass the time.

But if our instant priority is to fill every hour, it’s no wonder that we quickly feel as though we don’t actually have that much time left over. And the pressure to live-up to the perfect lockdown life that we’re seeing online might leave us feeling as though we should always be doing more.

Another possible cause behind this unjustified feeling of busyness, is that it’s just what we’re used to. We’re so used to being run ragged and ticking things off our to-do lists every second of the day, that slowing down our lives so abruptly just isn’t computing in our brains.

Emily, 29, is a publishing assistant, and has been working from home for the last five weeks. She says she can’t understand where her time goes, and she feels almost as busy as before lockdown.

‘I finish work at 5 pm on the dot – and obviously I’m already at home,’ she tells Metro.co.uk.

‘I feel like, wow – such a long, luxurious evening ahead of me, I can get so much done. But I feel like I have dinner, I blink, and then it’s 10 pm. I genuinely don’t understand it. It’s like time has sped up or something.

‘I keep saying that I’m going to do some baking, and I want to properly clean out my wardrobe, or get back to painting – but it just never happens. I go to bed disappointed that I haven’t achieved what I wanted to, which makes no sense when I, in theory, have all the time in the world.’

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