How to Make Time Go Faster at Work: 7 Easy Tips and Strategies

I remember my school days, sitting at my desk in math class and thinking — “Will this class ever be over?

Up until now, I can’t say much has changed. 

Even today, I sometimes think about how incredibly slow time passes, and I wonder why that is.

Maybe my watch isn’t working.” Or “Could it be that I just feel like time is passing more slowly than it actually is?” These are some of the thoughts that go through my head as I complete a task at work.

If you have ever had similar thoughts, stay tuned because, in this blog post, I’ll:

  • Talk more about our perception of time,
  • Touch on why it seems like time passes slower (or faster) sometimes, and 
  • Give you some useful tips on how to speed up time while you work.

Let’s jump right in.

How to make time go faster - cover
  • Our perception of time is influenced by several factors. Sometimes, unfamiliar experiences affect our perception of time, other times, it’s our negative feelings.
  • Being fully immersed in the task at hand makes us less aware of the time. Consequently, it appears to us that time is passing faster.
  • To speed up time at work, you can organize your tasks into a to-do list, try getting into a flow state, time block your day, or focus on developing new skills. 
  • Time seems to go faster as we get older. Psychologists think the reason is that the rate at which our brain processes mental images slows down as we age.

Why does time appear to go slower (or faster) sometimes? 

Since the topic of time is quite complex, we can’t say that there’s one specific reason why time seems to drag (or fly) sometimes. 

In fact, academics mention several reasons:

  • We’re focusing too much on time — as research by professor Ian Phillips suggests, if we attend to time at the present moment (e.g., by looking at the clock), it seems to slow down. Conversely, if we don’t pay attention to time, we become less aware of it, so it passes faster.
  • We’re experiencing negative feelings — according to research by psychologist Marc Wittmann, our sense of time is influenced by whether we’re experiencing pleasant or unpleasant emotions. In other words, if you’re working on a task that you find boring or frustrating, time will seem to drag on. On the other hand, if you’re engaged in a fun activity, time will seem to pass quickly since you’re enjoying yourself.
  • We’re experiencing unfamiliarity — in his book Making Time: Why Time Seems to Pass at Different Speeds and How to Control it, lecturer in psychology Steve Taylor says that “time seems to slow down when we’re exposed to new environments and experiences.” This happens because our brain takes longer to process new information, making it seem like more time has passed.

💡 Clockify Pro Tip

If you’re interested in finding out how different cultures approach the concept of time, read the blog post below:

7 Tips on how to make time go faster at work

Now that we’ve seen why time sometimes seems to pass slower, let’s explore what you can do to speed up time while working.

Tip #1: Stop looking at the clock

Sure, it can be hard to resist checking the time — especially since clocks are everywhere (on your wristwatch, phone, computer screen, etc.). But, you can apply other strategies to prevent yourself from staring at the clock. 

For example, if you usually wear a wristwatch, it’s best to take it off while working. Also, you can cover or temporarily hide a wall clock or any other timepiece that’s in your line of sight.

Additionally, consider locking your phone in a drawer or leaving it in another room. This technique will help you avoid looking at the clock on your phone.  

Finally, suppose you want to prevent yourself from checking the time while working on the computer. In this case, you can place a post-it note over the part of the screen where the clock is displayed. 

By reducing your exposure to clocks, it’ll be easier for you to stop paying attention to the time. As a result, time will seem to pass quickly.

💡 Clockify Pro Tip

For some inspiring quotes about time, check out our blog post:

Tip #2: Get into a flow state

In his book Beyond Boredom and Anxiety: Experiencing Flow in Work and Play, psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi describes “flow” as a state of mind in which an individual becomes fully immersed in an activity.

To put it differently, when we enter the flow state, our mind is completely occupied by what we’re currently working on. This way, we shift our attention from the time to the task, which creates a feeling that time passes more quickly.

To achieve a flow state at work, you should pick one specific task you want to focus on. The task should be challenging yet still within your skill level — it should be neither too difficult nor too easy.

However, to be able to concentrate solely on the assignment at hand, remove all possible distractions. For example, turn your notifications off or steer clear of chatty coworkers. 

💡 Clockify Pro Tip

To learn more about the Flowtime technique and how you can use it to increase your productivity, read our blog post:

Tip #3: Organize your tasks into a to-do list

When you’re disorganized and don’t know where to start with your tasks, time may seem to drag because you don’t have a specific goal to focus on.

One of the best ways to solve this problem is to organize your tasks into a to-do list

To be more efficient, you can sort your structure for the workday with:

  • Bullet journals,
  • Regular planners, or
  • Phone/computer apps.

As our colleague Aleksandra Babić, a Human Resources Generalist at, adds, having clearly defined goals for the day helps us shift our focus from the time to the tasks themselves: 

Aleksandra Babic Human Resources Generalist at

Fulfilling each goal can lead us to greater motivation and the desire to do all the tasks from the list. The more such tasks we have, the more work we have, and therefore less time to think ‘When will the working day end?

Organizing our tasks helps us forget about time and spend our working day in the most productive way possible. This is something Aleksandra also agrees on:

Aleksandra Babic Human Resources Generalist at

“Apart from the fact that all the tasks planned for the day will be completed, you’ll also feel much more productive, and the time at work will really pass faster.

💡 Clockify Pro Tip

Do you need a quick and easy way to create a to-do list? Try our free to-do list templates that you can customize and print out in a few seconds:

Tip #4: Use time blocking

Another useful strategy to make time go faster at work is to divide your day into blocks of time for each task you need to complete. 

Knowing exactly what you need to do and when you need to do it will allow you to fully focus on completing your tasks. This will help you trick yourself into thinking that time is flying.

To effectively break your time into blocks, you need to define a specific time frame for each task and reserve that time slot in your calendar, which is the essence of time blocking.

For example, if your workday consists of finishing an article and answering emails, decide when and how long you’ll be working on each task, and add those time blocks to your calendar. When the time frame for the first task (finishing the article) expires, you automatically move on to the next one (answering emails), regardless of whether you actually finished the article or not.

This way, you’ll be able to control the flow of your workday and stay focused and productive.

💡 Clockify Pro Tip

To help you block your schedule more easily, we’ve created 9 time blocking planner templates that you can download in PDF and print or fill out in Excel, so check them out here:

Tip #5: Eat the frog

When we know that an unpleasant task awaits us, we anticipate it anxiously, which makes us more attentive to the time. 

To avoid that feeling of anticipation, tackle the task you dread first. “Eat” your “frog” before all other tasks, and be done with it. 

The term “eat the frog” was coined by Brian Tracy, a motivational speaker and self-development author. According to him, doing your most dreaded task first (which has been hilariously compared to eating a frog) allows you to discipline yourself and boost your productivity.

When you finish your most unpleasant task, you’ll be able to move on to other tasks faster and won’t procrastinate. As a result, you’ll be more productive, and your time at work will pass more quickly.

💡 Clockify Pro Tip

To learn more about the “Eat the frog” technique, here’s a useful resource for you:

Tip #6: Use your break to do something fun or relaxing

As we concluded from the already mentioned research by Marc Wittmann, engaging in pleasant activities fills us with positive emotions. This, in turn, makes time pass faster for us. 

That being said, taking a break to relax or do something fun will make your time at work fly by. You can use the break to chat with colleagues, watch an interesting YouTube video, or basically do anything you can’t do during work hours.

As Aleksandra also shares, employees should take advantage of their breaks to engage in activities that fulfill them at that moment:

Aleksandra Babic Human Resources Generalist at

It can be having casual conversations with colleagues, going for a short walk, drinking coffee, or any other relaxing activity that pleases you.

Tip #7: Grow your skills

Immersing yourself in developing new skills is also a great way to speed up time at work. 

By learning a new skill, you not only get the opportunity to focus on something concrete but also to improve yourself professionally. 

As Aleksandra suggests, working on improving skills relevant to your job will certainly contribute to making your time at work go by faster:

Aleksandra Babic Human Resources Generalist at

Gaining new skills and knowledge makes our day more varied and prevents us from counting down the working hours. It can be following certain online courses, reading professional literature, listening to podcasts, or something similar.

💡 Clockify Pro Tip

If you feel like there’s room for improvement when it comes to your time management skills, here are some resources with tips and tools that can help you master time management:

FAQs about the speed of time

To get more information about the speed of time, check out these frequently asked questions that we’ve singled out for you.

How can I make time go faster at home?

If you want to see how you can speed up time while you’re at home or when you’re not working, here are a few interesting options that you can make use of:

  • Read an interesting book — when we read a compelling book, we often get so immersed in it that we don’t even realize that half a day has already passed. From fiction to true crime and biographies, you can choose whatever thrills you the most.
  • Catch up on the chores you’ve been pushing back — if you want to kill time but also be productive, you can finish all those chores you’ve procrastinated on. This way, you’ll speed up the time and actually do something useful in the process.
  • Play a video game — aside from being fun and making the time fly by, playing video games also brings some mental benefits. According to research on the effects of playing practice on cognition, playing video games improves our cognitive abilities, including attention and memory. 
  • Take up a new hobby — having a hobby means having another commitment during the day, which means you’ll have less space to think about time. Moreover, hobbies are inherently fun and engaging, which also helps speed up time.

💡 Clockify Pro Tip

Are you looking for a fun and effective way to increase your productivity? Time management games and activities can be an ideal solution for you. Learn more about it below:

Does time move faster as we get older?

One theory suggests that time seems to go by faster and faster as we grow older. Many psychologists agree on this, although there are differing opinions as to what exactly causes this.

According to an article on why the days seem shorter as we get older, one of the reasons why this happens is that the rate at which our brain processes mental images slows down as we age. 

As Adrian Bejan, the author of this article, further explains, days seemed to last longer when we were younger “because the young mind receives more images during one day than the same mind in old age.

💡 Clockify Pro Tip

Do you sometimes feel anxious about time passing? Do you worry that it’s too late to accomplish your goals? If you have these or similar thoughts, you may be experiencing time anxiety. Learn more about this below:

Get the most out of your workday with Clockify

Spending your workday productively will surely make your day fly by. But now the question arises — what can I do to spend time at work as productively as possible?

Monitoring how much time you spend on your tasks is one of the best ways to maximize your efficiency — and the perfect tool for that is the Clockify productivity tracker

Clockify lets you organize your daily tasks by projects and track the time it takes you to complete them. This way, you can see where your time goes and identify whether there’s something you should spend more or less time doing.   

Clockify time tracker 
Clockify time tracker 

With Clockify, you can also divide your schedule into time blocks and see them all in the Calendar view. This will help you improve your focus and thus be more productive.

Clockify calendar
In Clockify’s Calendar, you can see your tasks, projects, and the time blocks you scheduled for them

Clockify also lets you track the time you spend on your scheduled time blocks as you work on them. This way, you’ll know whether you’ll need to make revisions for the same time blocks in the future.

Don’t wait another second — optimize your time at work now!

Ivana  Jakovljevic

Ivana Jakovljevic is a productivity author and researcher, always ready to learn more about productivity and its power to create a perfect work-life balance. Since making the most of her time has become her passion, she is constantly searching for unique productivity and time management hacks.


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Time tracking software used by millions. Clockify is a time tracker and timesheet app that lets you track work hours across projects.

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