If you have a job, chances are most of your waking hours are not your own. Most of all your hours may not be your own. Between the time it takes you to get ready in the morning, your commute, and all the other details of life, the time you actually get to do what you want may be vanishingly small.
This feeling of being out of control of your own life can be depressing. And it can be made even worse depending on what you like to do during your free time. If you’re an avid surfer who has lived on the North Shore your entire life, and you are suddenly forced to move to Kansas, you’re gonna be unhappy. The thing you like to do most is no longer possible. Similarly, if the thing that makes you happiest is playing
8-hour long games Risk, you’re going to be unhappy if you’re ever employed. There’s just no time to do it.
Because time constraints are inevitable, the key is to learn to take pleasure in the small stuff. (This is completely learnable.) If you can learn to love your afternoon walk or run, or the time you spend cooking dinner, or whatever short activity it is you do every day, you will be immensely happier. If you can fit a couple of these happiness capsules into your day, you’ve now gone from never being able to do the thing you love to knocking out 3 or 4 things you love doing every single day. Even though the total time you spend doing something you love is less than you’d prefer, you’ll feel happier and more accomplished than if you were able to spend that big chunk of time on just one thing.