Time: The Thief
by Dr. John Nickens
If Love is a magician…
Then surely Time is a thief. What can be easily stolen from you when you’re flying though life at breakneck speed is also easily brought back into focus, and back into your daily living. What is required is simply to slow down. Seems to fly (flying again) in the face of reason, doesn’t it? If we move more slowly, take a little more time with some things, won’t we be getting less done? Less? OMG! (as the texters say). How can that be good? Isn’t that like losing even more time?
No. It’s more like sometimes (not even always) “sipping” time instead of gulping, and perhaps tasting a little more quality, a little more meaning, and a little more joy. And much more contentment. Here are a few simple tips , ones you already know, but perhaps haven’t yet put into practice:
- Learn to see your slow moments, your “times out” as worth planning for and scheduling. Ever find your appointments, events, meetings both business and casual, and tasks so packed that you have no flexibility? You’ve been putting things into your schedule for weeks or months without thinking about it. Suddenly you realize that your next 60 days is completely over-booked! If you begin to look ahead and actually write in your break times, your few hours or few days here and there that you can keep relatively light or completely unscheduled, then you will always have some down-time to look forward to, and some flexibility in your schedule should compelling invitations or tasks come up.
- Revise your “To-Do” list into 2 lists: a MUST DO, and a CAN DO. This way you are sure to get to the MUST list and not find yourself forced to give up your planned time for reading or walking, or for tending your orchids in the kitchen window. The CAN list is a part of deciding how to use your time, but these items should not be ones that cause more immediate problems if not taken care of. They may need to get done, but can wait a little while. There are children, parents, family and friends you could spend some extra time with, or maybe play with your pet, instead of feeling driven to complete the “can do” list.
- Watch your driving speed. The numbers on your speedometer are not only telling you something about your car. They also are telling you something very important about yourself! Are you moving too fast? If so, slow down. Getting used to a reasonable pace while behind the wheel will do wonders for helping you to pace yourself more generally. It changes your approach to how and when you blend in, and when you stand out. Slowing down conserves energy, yours and the planet’s, and allows for more consideration before making decisions, whether about changing lanes or changing banks.
- Look around as you move about in your usual environment. Look at things you usually rush past, perhaps an old photograph on a table or a small clutch of wild flowers near the curb. Your world will feel richer if you notice more of what’s in it.
It all sounds simple; and it is. Mainly because each of these is something you can do on your own with no additional costs or resources. By helping you to re-capture some of your time, these small changes will help you to make small but meaningful changes in your health and happiness, and will give the thief only what is his due.
Quote by James M. Barrie: “You must have been warned against letting the golden hours slip by; but some of them are golden only because we let them slip by.”
source: dr. j’s therapy blog, therapy and counseling: information, ideas and articles