Why You May Have More Free Time Than You Think

It's easy to convince ourselves that there's no free time in our schedules for an extra cross-training session or catch-up dinner with an old friend, especially as spring performances and school deadlines approach. And sometimes that's true—but recent studies published in the Journal of Consumer Research found that we often have more time than we think.

Over three studies, the researchers found that people tend to feel busier the closer they come to reaching a goal or completing a task, even when they don't actually have any less time than usual. This means they became more likely to delay or turn down other activities, even ones that benefit their health and well-being. In one of the studies, people in an airport were asked to take a short survey on their way to boarding a plane. Those who had already arrived at the gate were more likely to take the extra time than those who were waiting for the train that would take them to the terminal. Even though the people at the gate actually had less time until departure, the others were closer to their immediate goal of boarding the train, which made them more impatient.  


Overbooking yourself is still not a good idea, but neither is neglecting your health because you don't think you have enough time. So maybe you don't have to sacrifice that rejuvenating yoga session just because your spring showcase is coming up. In fact, keeping it on your schedule might help you handle the stress that comes with feeling extra-busy.

Latest Posts


iStock

Ask Amy: My Parents Want Me to Get a Job and Cut Back on Dance Classes

I am thinking about pursuing a career in ballet. However, my parents have made it clear that at some point they want me to get a job, which they acknowledge would mean possibly dropping dance, or at least not taking as many classes. I agree that getting a job is important so that I'm able to make my own money, but dropping dance classes is the exact opposite of what will get me to where I want to be. Any suggestions? —Kaia

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Laurent Liotardo (post-production by Nik Pate), Courtesy ENB

Catch English National Ballet’s Rising Stars in the Emerging Dancer Competition Livestream

The coronavirus pandemic may have postponed English National Ballet's annual Emerging Dancer competition last spring, but the show must go on—digitally! You can still watch ENB's best and brightest talent during the competition's livestream, taking place on September 22 at 7:20 pm BST (that's 2:20 pm ET). Now in its 11th year, the competition for the Emerging Dancer Award will be broadcast live from the company's East London production studio for the first time. Tickets are available for $6.99 per device and will remain available to view on demand until September 29.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
From left: Alaina Broyles, Courtesy Werner; Courtesy Underwood

Gaynor Minden's Latest Dancer Lineup Features a Body-Positivity Activist and Its First Guy

Pointe shoe brand Gaynor Minden recently welcomed 32 young dancers to its coveted roster of Gaynor Girls. But this year, the company included two applicants who push the boundaries of what it means to dance on pointe. While both Mason Simon Underwood and Colleen Werner are longtime GM wearers, they stand out from the rest of this year's group: Underwood is the first ever Gaynor Guy, and Werner is a body-positivity activist.

Keep reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks