Do the minutes seem to go by like seconds and the days fly by? If so, you may be experiencing time famine.
The term was coined by economist Leslie A. Perlow in 1999 at the advent of email and cell phones, which gave way to a new world of instant communication and heightened demands to be continuously connected.
Technology has only skyrocketed over the past two decades and changed the pace of everyday lives — the struggle with time famine is real. So is the resulting burnout from an always-on culture.
“I think there is this lack of edges that creates a feeling of time famine,” explains Julie Morgenstern, a time management expert and author of Time Management from the Inside Out and Never Check Email in the Morning. “Work feels like it is happening 24/7 — you never know when the day is done.”
In an always-on culture there is also a tendency to ascribe to the idea of being busy for the sake of being busy. “People love to talk about being busy,” says Laura Vanderkam, time management, productivity expert and author of Off the Clock: Feel Less Busy While Getting More Done.
“We live in a competitive world, and no one wants to be the one who is seen as having plenty of time on their hands." Vanderkam believes it leads to some people creating unnecessary work for themselves or giving themselves tasks that they could probably delegate to others.
So, what can you do to handle demands to always be connected? Below, the experts and masters of the schedule share how they have taken back their time and gained ownership of a healthier work-life balance.