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.

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During one of Charlotte Nash's first few weeks with Houston Ballet II, she was thrown into a run-through of Balanchine's Theme and Variations. "I had never really understudied before and I didn't know what I was doing," she says. "I fell right away and was quickly replaced." For Nash, now a dancer with Festival Ballet Providence, the episode was a tough lesson. "I was mortified, but then I said to myself, 'Okay, I need to figure out how to learn things more quickly.'"

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Sponsored by BLOCH
Courtesy BLOCH

Today's ballet dancer needs a lot from a pointe shoe. "What I did 20 years ago is not what these dancers are doing now," says New York City Ballet shoe manager Linnette Roe. "They are expected to go harder, longer days. They are expected to go from sneakers, to pointe shoes, to character shoes, to barefoot and back to pointe shoes all in a day."

The team at BLOCH developed their line of Stretch Pointe shoes to address dancer's most common complaints about the fit and performance of their pointe shoes. "It's a scientific take on the pointe shoe," says Roe. Dancers are taking notice and Stretch Pointe shoes are now worn by stars like American Ballet Theatre principal Isabella Boylston, who stars in BLOCH's latest campaign for the shoes.

We dug into the details of Stretch Pointe's most game-changing features:

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The Joffrey Ballet's Amanda Assucena and Greig Matthews in Cathy Marston's Jane Eyre. Cheryl Mann, Courtesy Joffrey Ballet.

Wonder what's going on in ballet this week? We've rounded up some highlights.

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Herman Cornejo in Don Quixote. Gene Schiavone, Courtesy ABT.

American Ballet Theatre's fall season at Lincoln Center's Koch Theater offers a chance to see the company in shorter works and mixed-repertoire programs. This year's October 16–27 run honors principal Herman Cornejo, who's celebrating his 20th anniversary with the company. Cornejo will be featured in a special celebratory program as well as a new work by Twyla Tharp (her 17th for the company), set to Johannes Brahms' String Quartet No. 2 in G Major, Op. 111. The October 26 program will include Cornejo in a pas de deux with his sister, former ABT dancer Erica Cornejo.

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