What is a "time trap?"

The “time trap” is an expression we have all heard before, but what is a “time trap?” What exactly qualifies something for being a time trap? Is a time trap like a mouse trap where time runs in and can’t get out? Or is it only a figurative illusion for something that eats our time up? Is it simply a person, place or thing that captures our time and will not let it go?

It’s barely yours on loan
What you think you own
The place that you call home
The ideas in your bones (in your bones)
This would still feel dumb
Back where you’re from
Do you (do you) want to change your mind
Do you want to change your mind
Cause you could never know that
In a time trap
In a time trap (Lyrics by the Built to Spill Band)

Some things that come to mind as time traps for me are the following: working on a computer bug, a wedding, working in the yard, doing a word puzzle or cleaning up the house. Time traps are things that unexpectedly capture our time or use up more of our time than we had originally allocated. For some of us, time traps are a routine hazard of life. Just like sand traps on a golf course, we see them, but can’t avoid them. Once we fall into them, they are very difficult to get out of. Of course, this metaphor suggests that we want to avoid them and that may not be the case. Many of us like to find some type of activity to spend our time on and for us, it is not a time trap. It all becomes very relative. One person’s trap is another persons passion.

What constitutes a time trap for one of us might be a joyful use of time for another. What are those things in your life that you consider “time traps?” How do you avoid or get out of them? How often do you still fall into them?

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