An article in the New York Times by Laura Vanderkam suggests maybe we need to re-think our attitude toward time.
She spent a full year noting how she uses her time in half-hour blocks. Even though she has four children under the age of 8 and a career, her conclusion was, "the stories I told myself about where my time went weren't always true. The hour-by-hour rhythm of my life was not quite as hectic as I thought."
This is in line with studies that show we tend to overestimate how much time we spend working. In one case, people estimated they were working 75 hours a week but actually it was 50.
Before she analyzed her data, Vanderkam thought she probably was working 45 to 50 hours a week; in fact, she averaged 40.
She suggests tracking your time for at least a week to get a more accurate picture of how you're actually using your hours. It might show that you're getting more sleep than you think, or that you are not working as much as you think--it or could reveal the opposite. Either way, it might suggest some adjustments or at least make you feel less frazzled.
One thing is certain: everybody's time runs out.
It reminds me of the line from Shakespeare's Richard II: "I have wasted time, now time doth waste me."
But what constitutes wasting time?
Looking out the window and daydreaming, or not looking out of the window and daydreaming?
Writing a book that may never get published, or not writing a book just because it may never get published?
Going out with your friend for a coffee or a beer--or not going out with your friend for a coffee or a beer?
Only you have the answer.