“I’m going to be late. Damn it! I’m always late. There’s just not enough time. I wish I had more time! I just have so much to do.”
This may be an extreme example (minus the explicative), but do you find yourself engaged in time-crunched self-talk? I know I do. I know I get hurried, rushed, and convinced I don’t have enough time to “get it all done.”
Consider slowing down to speed up.
We can all agree that time is valuable and that our human existence is finite. However, our relationship to time, in the modern world, is one of slave and master. It’s destructive and it’s unhealthy. And you thought it was just your charming Type-A personality.
We use words like deadline, due date, drop dead date. We attach adjectives like looming. Our subservience to our time commitments, even at the expense of our well-being, is astonishing.
I have questions for you. Is anyone actually going to die, if your report is a day late? Will your company go out of business? Will it’s stock crash? Ok, yes, there is that .01 percent of the time where that is true. The other 99.99 percent of the time it’s not even close to true. Yet, we break ourselves as if it were.
One of the first questions I always ask when I take on a project, “Is your date a real date…a real business or moral imperative or is it a date someone made up out of thin air?”
Guess what? Most deadlines and due dates really aren’t.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t be a person of your word. I am saying take a breath. I am saying most of the time emergencies in our lives…the ones we self-talk to ourselves at the stoplight you just missed…are total fiction.
Why stress so much? The only person that’s dying when you do, is you.
Power hack: Here are some simple tips you can apply when you feel the time crunch stress and the self-talk starts flowing.
- Thought stopping is a fantastic technique to use with any kind of negative self-talk.
- Tick-marking is a technique I created many years ago. You literally have have a sheet of paper and a pen. Every time you think a time crunching thought, make a tick mark on the sheet. It’s a great way to notice how often it’s happening and bring more awareness.
- Ask for more time. As I mentioned above, few deadlines really are. You’ll be surprised how often the answer will be yes, if you ask.
- There’s actually plenty of time. If you stop rushing through life worried there’s not enough time, you’ll find there’s plenty of time. Fill your day up with life not worrying about time.
- Make time serve you. Don’t be a slave to time. Make it your tool.
- There’s no moral imperative for you to risk your health for imaginary dates.
- Lose the time aphorisms. We have a million time aphorisms in our culture telling us why hurry, hurry, hurry is the only way to be. It’s not. That’s just a paradigm.
- Regroup. Take a breath. Take a break. Take a walk.
Our time is finite, but we expand it by not stressing over it so much. slow down.
Thanks for stopping by. Have a great Saturday!