The Most Out of Every Moment

Article by Dee DeWitt, Edited by Dee DeWitt


If we’re not busy, we feel unproductive and lazy …


That’s what we’re taught in this fast-paced, cram as many things into each day as possible world.  The modern world where everything is a rush.  Moreover, we compete by trying to show how busy we are … and the winner is the person with the most insane schedule, because obviously that means he’s the most popular and successful.


Well, maybe not. Perhaps the modern world is wrong.  Perhaps the speed and sheer volume of doing is not as important as what we focus on doing.


Perhaps we need to slow down … so that we don’t miss out on life with our constant rushing.  Slow down, stop rushing, and enjoy life.


And still get everything done.


Realizing Fast is Not Better … It’s Just Fast

It’s taken me fifty years (and I’m still not all the way there) to realize that life is better when you move at a slower, more relaxed pace, instead of hurrying and rushing and trying to cram too much into every day.


Instead, get the most out of every moment.


Is a book better if you speed through it, or if you take your time and get lost in it?


Is your work better if you’re trying to do 10 things at once, or if you really focus on one important task?


Is your time spent with a friend or loved one better if you rush through your time together or are distracted by emails and text messages, or, if you can relax and really focus on the person?


The simplest reason to slow down … life is better and is easier to appreciate.


Making Room for a Slower Pace

Here are a few ideas to consider and perhaps try, if they work for your life.  Some might require you to change something major, but they can be done over time.


Do less.  Cut back on the number of projects, on your task list, on how many thngs you try to squeeze into each day.  Focus not on quality instead.  Choose two or three really important things and work on those first.  Save smaller, routine tasks for later in the day and give yourself time now to focus.


Fewer meetings.  Meetings are usually a big waste of time. They eat into your day.  Schedule blocks of time without interruptions, so you don’t have to rush from one meeting to another.


Disconnecting.  Turn off your cell phone and your email notifications, etc. Have some time with no phone calls, when you’re creating … when you’re just spending time with someone … reading a book, etc.  Disconnect for an entire day.  You won’t be hurt.


Allow time to prepare and travel.  Most of us don’t allot enough time in our schedule for preparing and for traveling.  Give yourself twice the time to get ready for and drive to work.  It will allow you to slow down a little, arrive more relaxed, and perhaps arrive early.


It’a ok if it doesn’t get done.  There’s always tomorrow.  Really.  It sounds trite, but the truth is that the world likely won’t end if you don’t get that task done today.  The company won’t collapse.  Life will inevitably go on.  The things that need to get done will.


Getting rid of the unnecessary.  When you do the important things first … there will be things that get pushed back or that don’t get done.  When this happens, ask yourself if they are really necessary.  Think how to eliminate them, delegate them, or automate them.


Reduce commitments.  We’re all overcommitted.  That’s why we’re always rushing around so much.  And it’s everywhere in our lives … work, at home, with our family, our kids, social lives, sports.  We’re all trying to cram as much into our loves (and our family’s lives) as we can.  But in trying to cram so much into our lives, we’re actually deteriorating the quality of those lives.  So try to eliminate commitments. Pick a few essential activities.  The others might be nice to do, but take away from the commitments you have already decided are important.


And lastly, try being mindful.  Try to focus on the present, rather than thinking so much about the future or the past.


“Since time is the one immaterial object which we cannot influence — neither speed up nor slow down, add to nor diminish — it is an imponderably valuable gift.”
-Maya Angelou


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Posted on 7 March, 2010 in Balance, Happiness, Making the Day Count
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