Why you feel so busy

A good argument for why our culture can feel so rushed, unifying individual perception, widening economic classes, new technologies, changes in parenting, politics, and more. Alas, no magic cure is mentioned.

Why the rich often feel busier than the poor:

Ever since a clock was first used to synchronise labour in the 18th century, time has been understood in relation to money. Once hours are financially quantified, people worry more about wasting, saving or using them profitably. When economies grow and incomes rise, everyone’s time becomes more valuable. And the more valuable something becomes, the scarcer it seems…

While the wages of most workers, and particularly uneducated workers, have either remained stagnant or grown slowly, the incomes at the top—and those at the very top most of all—have been rising at a swift rate. This makes leisure time terribly expensive.

How the glut of “leisure” activities makes all of them less relaxing:

The explosion of available goods has only made time feel more crunched, as the struggle to choose what to buy or watch or eat or do raises the opportunity cost of leisure (ie, choosing one thing comes at the expense of choosing another) and contributes to feelings of stress. The endless possibilities afforded by a simple internet connection boggle the mind. When there are so many ways to fill one’s time, it is only natural to crave more of it.

Parenting has become even more time-intensive as well, especially for those with the other time crunches:

American mothers with a college degree, for example, spend roughly 4.5 hours more per week on child care than mothers with no education beyond high school…As for fathers, those with a job and a college degree spend far more time with their children than fathers ever used to, and 105% more time than their less-educated male peers.