There’s more to life than increasing it’s speed.
Until recently, my chief tactic when wanting to get things done, or if I felt under pressure, was to block out all other distractions and work as quickly as possible to conclude the task at hand.
It was as though the task to be completed was a fire which needed to be immediately put out, rather then to be completed to the best of my ability.
I had to give the task at hand my full attention, take no breaks or allow any distractions and complete the task as soon as physically possible.
After all – what would happen if I didn’t work so furiously?
What would happen if I completed the task at a more relaxed and calmer pace?
It turns out – I would feel a whole lot better 🙂
By working so furiously under the illusion of working “harder”, my mood began to dip as my stress levels increased.
I began to feel yet more frustrated as I noticed each and every distraction and everything seemed to be conspiring to steal my attention.
I learned through trial (and no real error) that taking my time when doing everything in my life has afforded me a real sense of calm and control which before was lacking.
I compared doing things as quickly as possible versus taking my time and realised the actual amount of time taken for the task was largely the same – it was my perception of that time that made the difference- and my feelings or pressure and frustration.
It turned out my frantic rushing to work as hard and fast as possible was a classic case of confusing effort with results – it didn’t actually get me any further but left me feeling like I had worked as hard as I could – did you see how stressed I was? how could I have given any more??
It also turned out that by being calm and taking my time to complete the work required left me in a more level and unstressed state of mind, ready to make better decisions and produce better work.
Right now I am returning to my one goal which had slipped from my conscious mind for a while.
I’m going back to basics, to living as much as possible in the moment, savouring time and truly experiencing my life rather than tolerating some if it.
When I feel rushed or stressed I begin to actively slow myself now and it has led to a much more calm and steady day to day life.
Stressful things still happen, I just choose to stay cool, calm and steady.
And it’s always your choice.
The next time you find yourself getting stressed when working, annoyed by distractions and generally increasing your speed try to catch yourself, slow down and take a breath- you won’t regret it.