Father Time… Please Slow Down

Father Time… Please Slow Down

time running through an hour glassJust when you think time can’t more any faster it seems to me it can.  Is the rule the older you get the shorter the minutes, days and years seem and time just flies by at a pace that’s super impossible to keep up with?

I realized recently that my current thinking toward time passing me by was resulting in a feeling of being completely out of control….never a comforting feeling.  So in an effort to slow the clock down and gain some of my power back, I decided I must change my thinking and a few of my habits.

As with any problem, a good place to start is my current beliefs or perceptions of what the problem is.

Perceived Problem:  Time is passing me by (way too quickly).

Perceived Result: Feeling completely out of control (and a bit depressed / scared… you name it…I was feeling it).

With this problem defined I knew I needed a new way of thinking. First, I would start with augmenting my schedule at the end of each day. (Seemed like a good baby step for me…full life transformations never work so well).

In analyzing my patterns I realized in the recent past when the day was done, I would lay my head on my pillow at night and immediately start calculating in my head all the tasks and goals I had on my list that did not get completed during that day.  Not only is this, in and of itself, depressing but I would end my day virtually transferring in my head all those incomplete tasks from today’s to do list to tomorrow’s. Not the best idea if you are looking for a resentful night’s sleep and/or feeling good about the day you had just completed, or for that matter, the one that lay ahead.  I don’t believe I am alone in this destructive pattern.  I would say this is a habit most of us pick up without even thinking about it. It’s an auto-pilot response to what we think is keeping us more organized, but at least for me, I think it’s destructive.

My first new strategy involves either writing down or reciting in my head what I DID accomplish for the day.  Most people I know run from the minute they get out of bed to the minute their head hits the pillow at the end of the day.  So if you reverse your thinking and look at all you DID accomplish that day, your list would typically be rather extensive and you / I would feel great about all we DID DO that day rather than the items that didn’t quite make it to completion.  I have started doing this consistently and I have to say it definitely leaves me with a better taste in my mouth (or is that my new toothpaste) than the feeling of defeat I was feeling at the end of each day.

My second strategy involves focusing on daily mini-achievements that get me closer to one main goal that I am trying to attain.  As part of my new strategy, each day I now make sure that I have done something (one thing…be it big or small) to move closer to achieving that goal.  I know it may seem rather simplistic but this strategy in particular has really helped me feel like I have more control over time and my life.   At the end of each week I can look back and know I am at least 7 steps/tasks closer to achieving that goal than I was the week before and somehow that makes me feel I am using my time more wisely, that I have more control and that I have made progress that week.

These two new habits have helped me feel more in control of my day and my life and although time seems to move at a pace faster than I would like, the tick-tock of the clock doesn’t seem to be keeping me up as late into the night.  I am no longer reciting in my head the regrets of the day but rather my accomplishments (big AND small) and look forward to looking back at the end of the week knowing I have made progress this week and have used my time wisely.