Our childhood is full of endless memories–from running at the beach, to spending the afternoon playing games, or listening to our grandparents’ fictional stories. The time we spent during our early life seems like a thousand years ago, partly because for adults, time feels like it’s speeding up as we age. We never got to notice that time actually flies when we were young because we were just there to enjoy it.

Today, we are bombarded with lots of responsibilities. Most of the time, we feel like there is not enough time to do them all and this leads us to think that time is faster than our usual clock. If you are wondering, there are a couple of theories that explain why time speeds up as we get older.T

Formation of new memories:

Time speeding up is somehow linked to the formation of memories. This is one theory that explains why we think time flies faster than usual. When we were children, all the memories we had were all novel–learning to use a bike for the first time, a monthly family outing at the beach, experiencing first kisses, and so on. But now that we are adults, our experiences are different–from getting our first jobs to buying our first home.

New memories form slowly at a young age, which is somehow the reason why we perceive we had more time to do things when we were children. Today, new experiences doze off for us as we enter a more mature life. Some of our jobs require a high degree of competence and expertise, which takes our time in order to learn new knowledge and skills. Raising a family for the first time means we’re sharing our time with others, and we don’t notice time getting past us.

Too busy to check on time:

Many of us work more than one job in a day. While some have their own private cars to use when going to the office, others utilize public transportation that adds to the hassle of daily life. Working and commuting are two of the most time consuming events that we encounter almost every day. Because we have responsibilities at home and at work, we tend to forget to check on time. There are times when we’re surprised how 4 to 5 hours have passed and we haven’t completed half of what we set out to do. Adults are too busy to look at the clock and this is one factor why we perceive that time is speeding up.

Amount of attention allocated to certain activities:

Most times we end up asking why time flies when we’re enjoying ourselves and why it slows when we’re in a meeting. There hasn’t been an adult who’s never experienced that kind of scenario.

There is also a theory that the human perception of time is connected to the amount of attention we allocate to a certain activity. The more we enjoy events, the more we think that time speeds up. The more we pay attention to a particular activity, the more we think that time slows down.

Our brain is aging too:

The way we perceive time is also related to our brain. There have been proposals that the older we get, the slower our brains process images. This is the opposite of what our brains did when we were children. There are professionals who call this case “mind time,” which is entirely different from the normal clock time.

Daily routines matter:

Our daily routines matter to our perception of time. We tend to keep ourselves busy with the things that don’t bring good experiences to us. We forget to make time for the things that makes us happy, such as bonding with family and friends, doing our favorite hobbies, and so on. If we keep on establishing daily routines that are not healthy, the more we won’t appreciate the time.

The more we don’t appreciate the time, the more we will think that it’s just moving past us. Building healthy routines helps us manage our time more. In return, we get to do a lot of activities that contribute to our appreciation of longevity of time.

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