One of my goals is not to rush. To me, taking my time has multiple meanings, and “you are not in a rush” is something of a mantra that I repeat to myself when I feel myself becoming impatient or stressed.
It first came to me one Christmas season. I went to the mall after work to do some Christmas shopping, which I absolutely love to do- picking out gifts for loved ones brings me true joy. I was off from work the following day, and I had nothing else to do that night, yet I could feel myself becoming impatient. There I was, amidst all of the Christmas magic in the mall (which always gets to me, never mind the commercialism), and rather than enjoy this once a year tradition I was becoming annoyed. I didn’t want to feel this way, so why was I? I was waiting in line to pay, increasingly irritated by whatever was happening at the register ahead of me, and I said to myself: “you are not in a rush.”
To my surprise, that helped. I took a deep breath and could feel myself beginning to calm down.
Sometimes, we need to state the obvious, even to ourselves. Did you ever notice how when you’re involved in a problem it can seem insurmountable, but when you speak to someone not invested in it, they have a suggestion that immediately helps? You can be that person for yourself. It’s the equivalent of calling your mom so that she can tell you what to do, except you can tell yourself.
Once I realized that telling myself not to rush helped, I began to use it in all different situations- sometimes even when I felt like I did need to rush. At work, with lots of deadlines, it’s easy to feel the pressure to rush through all tasks, but I realized that I often could take my time. All I needed to do was to take a deep breath and go through each task one by one. Magically, they all get done, with fewer errors and with a much calmer me. Rushing wasn’t saving me time; rather, it was causing me to be more inefficient. The time wasted feeling anxious about accomplishing everything is much better spent actually tackling the tasks, methodically and one by one.
I find this is especially helpful during the holidays, where we often want to enjoy the season, but end up rushing through it, busy with shopping and wrapping and parties. Reminding myself not to rush helps me to enjoy this time, my favorite time of year, as it is happening.
Have you ever tried taking your time? Do you find that it helps you to stay calm, enjoy the moment, and accomplish more?