Time pressure is not a problem that you can solve on your own – it also depends on your environment and your community, sociology professor Tania van der Libby (57) writes in her book Where is my time. “I want to make individuals, organizations, and society understand how time constraints work.”
For thirty years you’ve been studying time pressure, time perception, and work-life balance. Now you have the book Where is my time Written, intended for a wider audience than academia, just why?
Tanja van der Lippe: “There are many self-help books for those who think they are too busy. You can read what you can change and how you can solve what you are facing as a problem. It gives the impression that the burden you are carrying is up to you, and often people think that it is Also, but this is not true: your own environment – family, friends and colleagues: those with whom you are trying to coordinate your life – and the community only plays there. You have played a good role in a major role. I want in my book to explain why we are so busy collectively. “
Or do we think we? Because as you write, the time pressure in the Netherlands is not so bad compared to other countries.
“From an objective point of view, this is true, despite the relatively high labor participation of women. But here they work more than average part-time, and in other places men work more hours every day. But personally, the time pressure is high: we feel that we are Busy.Life also determines the state. This is why we want to try things and buy things and be always available; we even prefer to spend our free time in all kinds of activities that we can accomplish. With all this ambition, little space left, let alone appreciation, for meditation and peace And calmness.
“Plus, quite a few people have learned to simply get bored, or do one thing at a time, for reasons not least of which are technological advances like the mobile phone. So we are busy people, and we like a strong rhythm, which turns out, among other things. , From the persistence of wanting to eat together at 6 pm, to being flexible with everything and everyone, can lead to stress, because for something like this, kids’ full agendas are also biased. ”
Young parents and caregivers
You think the verbs “want,” “should,” and “can” are important. There are also people who don’t participate consciously (anymore).
“Sometimes you read somewhere about someone saying goodbye to the rat race to start a campsite in France. These are interesting individual stories, but you don’t easily see them in the statistics. They show that working parents of young children in particular. And caregivers who have a job – Which is becoming more and more important due to the government’s withdrawal in the field of elderly care – they are the busiest.
“In addition to this, a large group has, for various reasons, more time that they spend at their own discretion; desirable or unwanted. There is a possibility that they will be busy at all, for example because there is no paid work. Busy is one The elements we could fix if we as a society wanted to tackle the unhealthy problems and consequences of time pressure. “
The Ministry proposes to use the time.
“With this I conclude the book, as an idea on the way to a better balance. Possible future scenarios – for a community like Smurf Village, Team Pursuit, Yoga Class, or Rat Race – serve as inspiration. The result of research done specifically for this purpose. Research with input from each Of the younger adults and the elderly in the two main driving forces that influence the degree of time pressure: “more” or “enough”, and “individual” or “solidarity.” We have to focus on them to bring about any desired changes.
More time due to Corona?
Then came the aura, which suddenly made many people less busy.
“You might think so, but even then we didn’t want it, and we neither can nor should we necessarily give it up. The time that was dumped was spent on new hobbies; this was the time to learn an additional language or start knitting. The tendency to be busy and to remain active is deeply ingrained in us. Especially in the beginning there was also some thinking: How true is what we are used to doing day in and day out? With so many shared experiences, I have doubts, I think standing still matters.
For your industry, this position is of course a great, great experience.
He never confused work with private life, time pressure has appeared in new forms, as work from home had to be combined with education at home. On the other hand, you no longer have to get up at 6 in the morning to catch the train. A difference. But right now, people are mostly finished with it, I think, craving what it was. Busy too, but different. “
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