Guest post by Zita Weber, Ph.D.
Yes, it is possible to break the hurry habit and still get everything done! It’s a matter of self-reflection and determination to change your life so that you have more quality time to do things, including those things in life that are crowded out when you’re always on the run.
In our fast-paced world, developing the skills and strategies to allow for some precious ‘me time’ is crucial for your mental health. Research study after research study has proven that slowing the pace is conducive to better physical and mental health.
Once you develop the time for detours, dallyings and discoveries, you’ll open up your life to a world of spontaneous activities rather than being dictated by non-negotiable duties. Sounds like you might be reclaiming what you once had? Don’t allow time to be your enemy. Use your time in wise and wonderful ways. Connect with yourself and a more balanced and serene life.
Five brilliant strategies for breaking the hurry habit
To stop from jam-packing your day and start enjoying the sunlight splashing on the leaves try these five brilliant strategies:
- Let go of everything else and concentrate on what you’re doing now – don’t scatter your mental and physical energy. Instead, focus in on the present and use cues like listening on the sound around you to focus on the present task in order to remain in the present
- Practice just stopping – just stopping 10 times a day. This will help you slow the pace and allow you to feel less harried
- Embrace spontaneity and don’t feel guilty about doing something that’s outside your ‘schedule’ for the day. To break the hurry habit, you need to relearn spontaneity – and develop the art of giving yourself one afternoon a week when you have no plans!
- Stop for a moment and consider this: your life is more than an endless to-do list. Your life is also all those ‘in-between’ moments when you can slow down and even pause long enough to reflect on what you’re really doing and perhaps even stop to smell the roses
- Learn to make time for yourself and for all those ‘slow’ activities you’ve promised yourself you’ll do one day – like some art work, woodwork or craft. Don’t fritter your ‘free’ time away by getting stuck in mindless activities
It is possible to go from timeaholic to being in less of a hurry to do all the things you feel you must do.
Here’s how: You can start by making a list of all the things that are not really essential but things that take you away from doing more creative and enjoyable things. Eliminate these from your life!
Breaking the hurry habit starts when you make a commitment to changing your life from fast-forward to staying in the present and feeling better about yourself and your life.
Zita Weber, Ph.D. is an author and honorary academic, and has worked as a counselor and therapist with individuals, couples and families. She has researched and written about communication, stress, relationships, sexuality, depression and loss and grief. More information about her work and books can be found on her website. You can read more about skills and strategies for breaking the hurry habit in Slowing the Pace: Losing the hurry habit.
Photo by Sarah W. Caron — Taken in summer 2012.