We have learned to pursue experiences and savour pleasures, says NONA WALIA

With people working from home and social life at almost zero, time has slowed down in these last few months. Suddenly, we are ‘Time Affluent’ with abundant time for various things. Everyone is cooking up slow dishes, taking leisure naps, and reading books. Before the pandemic, we were materially affluent, but literally time-famined. Everyone was running around, always short on time. The culture of ‘Busyness’ had overtaken us. 

In his book Happier, Tal Ben-Shahar, the instructor of a popular positive psychology course at Harvard, writes, “Time affluence is the feeling that one has sufficient time to pursue activities that are personally meaningful, to reflect, to engage in leisure. Time poverty is the feeling that one is constantly stressed, rushed, overworked, and behind. All we have to do is look around us and often within ourselves“ to realise the pervasiveness of time poverty in our culture. 

Increasing your time affluence is hard work, especially in a hectic modern world loaded with distractions: cell-phones, email, forum messages, family, career, school, advancement, professional relationships, and social responsibilities.”

Nona Walia

One of the biggest gifts of the pandemic has been ‘Time Affluence’. But have we made the most of it? Not really. With a lot of soul-searching going on in Corona-times, how we utilise this excess time is critical to our inner well-being. We have got back our time. 

The pandemic has made the world realise and evaluate where and how people want to spend their time. Researcher Tim Kasser, calls time affluence “a path toward personal happiness.” Time affluence allows us to relax, pursue experiences and savour pleasures. Having unstructured time supports more creativity. Most creative innovation happens in the space of ‘Time Affluence’ when we are in a relaxed state of being.

Last year, a survey of 2.5 million Americans revealed that 80 per cent of them did not have the time to do everything they needed to do each day. The pandemic brought a pause to Time Deficit, and put us in the ‘Time Affluence’ zone. We suddenly had the time to do everything we wanted in our homes. 

Suddenly the passage of time and duration has slowed. According to research, ‘Time Affluence’ increases our happiness quotient, allows us to experience happy emotions and makes us believe life is good. The  digitisation of society, smart-phone addiction aside, ‘We are going through a phase of Time Affluence; how we utilise this time, relax, reduce stress, become more creative, enjoy new skills and experiences will enhance the quality of life. According to a study, as we age, we gain a better appreciation for our limited time, and we reorient our life better. Woody Tasch author, Slow Money writes in his book, “The economics of time are changing. I don’t think we need a new generation of economists who study time. I think we just need a bunch of people who come to their senses. Coming to our senses would be something like this: recognising that we have a choice. We need the gumption to slow down with a portion of our lives and do what we know we need to do.”

How Time Affluence Impacts Us:

* It allows us to build confidence. 

* Have soundness of judgement. 

* Enjoy simplicity of life. 

* Having less, without having to worry about the basic necessities of life, creates an inviting space to do creative things.