As a kid those 6 week summer holidays seemed to last forever. But now, looking at my diary and seeing that we are in August has made me feel like I blinked mid June and ended up here dare I take a nap and wake up in a morgue? Here are some of the things I've noticed that will help slow down time.
Learn new things. Visit new places. Meet new People.
As children we are constantly taking in new experience, life is fresher and more exciting. When our brains receive unfamiliar information it needs to be processed and displayed to us in a way that we can easily understand. Our brain therefore perceives time to move slower as it's working harder, but when familiar information is ingested, it's easy for your brain to process, making you perceive time as moving faster.
Think back to a lazy beach holiday and then to a holiday where you were doing new things every day? What seemed to go slower? I'll hazard a guess it's the latter, your brain is working overtime to process new experiences.
Social media sites like Facebook and media streaming services like Netflix and Spotify only show you recommendations from your first clicks. We are not really challenging our minds because were presented with similar media. So pick somewhere to go, something to do, someone to talk to, that is completely out of your comfort zone and feel your brain exert.
Older, wiser, freer.
Children have this obsessive habit of being mindful about growing up. They possess an urgency to become older for a variety of different reasons; to grow taller and go on the big rides at Thorpe Park, receive more pocket money, later bed times, etc. Because we have all these things now doesn't mean that growing older does not have benefits. Growing older means gaining wisdom, potential work promotions, building stronger relationships, moving to a different part of town, or anything that you feel is developing yourself. If you do more and celebrate the passing of time as an opportunity to grow, instead of chasing it off, time will last longer.
Be here now.
You're walking down the street on a Thursday afternoon, what do you think about? Chances are, paying the gas bill, what happened last Friday night, that work presentation you haven't started yet... anything but the present. Living in the past and the future really means that time does not exist after all.
Perceive more by doing less, this may sound contradictory but relaxing and feeling the moment with all your senses makes you aware of the present in a very holistic and sensual manor, giving information to our brain through different mediums. Look at the sky, no really look at it, at the cloud formations and how the colour changes as it falls closer to the horizon. Be aware of the pressure of your feet on the ground. Listen to your breathing.
Pay attention to time.
As a child I was always excited for the next holiday, the next time I'd consume copious amounts of chocolate in egg form in April; or dress up as a Zombie Bride in October. I started making my Christmas list in September, just in case there was a problem with the post in the North Pole. But now, I am thinking about when I'll finish painting the attic, when I'll be able to do 50 push-ups and when I'll be able to finish that work project. We become unaware of time, and forget how quickly it passes. Being aware of it might make us appreciate how precious this resource is. So start pinching and punching peers on that first day of the month and writing the date on any work assignments in full word form in indulgent swirly letters.
Focus, focus, focus.
The more you concentrate, the more you do, the more time your brain perceives has gone past. We better at concentrating in the morning, this is when all your most taxing tasks should be completed, to allow for the greatest productivity. Being productive gives you more free time to relax and use as you please.
Remove unproductive thoughts and patterns.
Do you worry about things that have happened in the past or things that may or may not happen in the future? Going over the same thoughts/scenarios? Repetitive thoughts with are easy for your brain to process.
Checking your Facebook can be an unproductive brain pattern. Your brain won't find it hard to process yet another picture of an acquaintance in a bikini in a nameless sunny spot by the pool.
Unless all your FB friends are film directors or political freedom fighters or cultural travel bloggers, delete the app and ask the person you've been sitting next to on the train for 30 minutes what's the most interesting thing that has happened to them.
I am now a morning raving, salsa dancing, watch checking, spinach drinking video editor, but next year I expect to be someone completely different, and I hope you do too.