Do you ever feel like time is racing?
Like you are hurtling towards the end of the year at an alarming pace?
Don’t worry, we all feel it too.
Studies show that the older you get; the faster time seems to move. There are multiple theories as to why this feeling comes on, one relates to experiences. When we are younger our lives are full of ‘firsts’. First kiss, first job, first house, these momentous events act as signposts for our memory and allow us to easily recall periods of time. As we get older the number of new experiences decreases as many of us get stuck in routines of work, sleep, eat, repeat (Haden, Inc, 2017).
Another theory is based on the rise in technology. The last decade has seen an enormous growth in the availability of information, especially on the world wide web. News, television series, movies, music, you can access anything from any decade with the push of a button. Our minds are constantly bombarded with information from every era, it’s no wonder we find it hard to tell the time (Miller, Buzzfeed, 2019).
On top of all this, a lot of us are just plain busy!
So how can you slow down and avoid burnout in this fast-paced life?
The first step is exercising a 2-letter word in your vocabulary, no!
Most of us are yes people. From a young age, we are encouraged to be positive, action takers up for just about anything. Most of us also feel the pressure of what it means to say no and let down a friend or turn down an opportunity. Therefore, we are constantly pushing ourselves to fill up every hour of our day with an activity, work, gym classes, volunteer work, spending time with our loved ones, the list goes on. So, the next time you are met with a request you don’t think you can handle, exercise your right to say NO!
You can alleviate these feelings of guilt by asking for help. Are there tasks you can delegate to your employees? Or errands you can ask your spouse to complete? It is important to stay balanced and understand what your limits are. No one person is able to be productive every second of every day.
Mindfulness is a term we are hearing more and more and for good reason! “Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.” (Mindful, 2014) Practicing mindfulness isn’t just for moments of meditation or yoga, it can be practiced in everyday life. For example, how many of us will talk to our friend, whilst watching a movie and scrolling through a news article? Or eat our lunch whilst working on an email and listening to a podcast?
Next time you carve out time to spend time with a friend, be present. Disconnect from other distractions and focus your attention on the present moment.
As busy professionals, we can often forget to slow down and be present. So next time you feel like time is racing, take the time to reflect on your experiences and enjoy the present moment.