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Have you ever had the feeling that you are always short of time? Ever felt you knew how to stop rushing through life and just be in the moment? You are not alone!
When was the last time you took a moment to enjoy your morning cup of tea or coffee? Or just sit with your spouse and start the day being with each other?
When was the last time you felt the falling rain on your face? When the last time you saw the dew drops that made you feel good?
When was the last time you really saw the beauty in nature and enjoyed being present to experience these simple things?
Have you ever tried slowing down and just taking a backseat to enjoy the little pleasures in life?
“We are always getting ready to live but never living.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ever noticed how hurriedly the days seem to pass by, and you still feel there is so much left to be done. Doesn’t it always seem that there is so much to be done, yet less time do it all?
I have that feeling so often, and am always running against time because I am rushing through life, which I know I shouldn’t.
This post is a reminder for me, and all those who also feel that their days fall short to do all that they want to do.
I know I need to slow down and take things as they come, and make attempts to live in the moment. Do you?
What Does it Mean to Rush Through Life
Simply put, when you rush through life, you forget to live NOW.
It means you aren’t able to take out time to enjoy your mornings, instead, are always in a rush to go off to work.
It means not being able to enjoy what you like doing. You don’t appreciate things around you, nor the outdoor, and don’t spend time with your loved ones.
“Half our life is spent trying to find something to do with the time we have rushed through life trying to save.” ~ Will Rogers
Instead, what do people rushing through life do?
They are always working, connected to their laptops or PCs, or on their mobiles and iPhones.
Or they are checking their emails, blogging, commenting, multitasking, on social media, and keep working endlessly without a break! I am a lot like that – are you?
Such people just don’t wait to stop and think how and where life is heading. They don’t have the time. Are you such a person? If so, why are you always rushing through your life?
Why Are You Always Rushing Through Life
Let me ask you a few questions and tell me what your answers were in the comments – here they are.
- Do you keep running from one task to another in an attempt to complete your never ending list of to-do things?
- Do you hurry through your talks with your spouse, family, kids, or parents?
- Are you always in a hurry to keep up with friends, whether they are online friends or the offline ones?
- Do you face relationship problems when you aren’t able to devote the required time with your partner, because you are over-worked and lacking in time? Be true to yourself and answer this one!
Talking about the present, tell me how did you spend your day today?
Does your typical day start something like this – waking up, rushing through shower, getting the kids ready (if you have small kids), breakfast, if possible exercise, starting work – at home or driving to office, checking emails and social updates, meetings, doing real work, rushing through lunch, drive back home, watch TV, have dinner, and feeling flat off to bed late at night, only to wake up early morning again!
Your day might not be exactly like this, but I’m sure it must be quite similar.
Don’t you follow such a routine day in and day out, when suddenly one day you feel burnout? What happens then? You realize how many years have passed by just following this same monotonous life.
People nowadays are stressed, overworked, and over-scheduled because they are involved into a lot of things.
They have lots of work, and have to be part of communities, kids, family, social events, and other activities. Even ABC News reported how American’s are working longer hours than ever before.
“Men, for the sake of getting a living, forget to live.” ~ Margaret Fuller.
Haven’t you forgotten how to slow down and enjoy life? I think so, because of the hectic lifestyles you and me lead.
Coming to think of it, why the rush? Can’t things wait? Are there really things that need to be attended to straight away at the cost of other important things in your life? Think about it and let me know below.
So what do people like you and me do about it? We try to understand what happens when we rush through life.
What Happens When You Rush Through Life
When you rush through your life as it is, you miss out on the journey. You miss out on living in the present. You miss out on those precious moments of life.
Yes, you are all busy in your lives with lots to be done each day and no moment to spare. But it’s also important to set priorities in life and take life as it comes, instead of rushing through it.
You might feel something needs to be done right away, and at the cost of your family or other important tasks; you get down doing that particular thing. But was it that important after all?
Couldn’t it wait or be avoided?
You may make such a decision because you feel you have to. It’s almost like putting all the ingredients of a recipe together in a pot without realizing or tasting what you’re cooking!
You just follow the recipe exactly the way it was supposed to be followed, even when you know that a little more salt or less of pepper is what it needs.
Similarly, you don’t listen to your own body when you exercise or eat food, and tend to do things you’ve been doing since ages – don’t you?
You are afraid to try out new things because you feel that the old ones are tried and tested, and someone way back in time said that was the right way to do it all.
Or because you really don’t have the time to try something new and different – as you are forever rushing through life and don’t have the time to shape your own life yourself.
How about slowing down a little, taking risks, challenging what’s been done before, being a little wild, and letting everyone call you a little ‘crazy’?
“There is more to life than increasing its speed.” ~ Mohandas Gandhi.
Try out these ways to stop rushing through life and see the changed person you’d become.
Ways to Stop Rushing Through Life
As I mentioned before, this post is also a reminder for me to take life a little slow and not really get caught up trying to do everything, all the time.
You know that stress is bad for you, yet you prefer staying up to date, or you fall behind. You try doing many things to work faster, yet you fall behind because lots of people are working smarter.
You feel you’d be slower than them if you don’t jump on the bandwagon. So, what do you do? You become mechanical – almost robotic!
In the process, you forget to take care of your basic needs like sleep, proper diet, exercise, and fresh air. This is also a reason why you feel slow, unmotivated, unproductive, and restless. Sounds familiar?
“It is important from time to time to slow down, to go away by yourself, and simply be.” ~ Eileen Caddy
Here are some ways of stop rushing through life and enjoying it as it comes –
1- Slow down by doing less
Hard as it may sound, this is the first thing you need to do – slow down your pace by doing less. Focus on doing what’s really important, and leave the rest for later.
You also need to eat slow instead of gulping your food in because that way you don’t enjoy your food, nor feel the flavor and texture. You aren’t being mindful when you eat fast.
Similarly, drive slower and appreciate nature and your surroundings, instead of rushing through always.
Spend more family time, instead of just short-talking with your kids and family. Love slower, instead of hurrying up your act.
Simply put, just put your heart and mind when you do things. See the difference it makes to your life!
2- Plan your day and make your list
Planning out your day makes you less stressed for accomplishing your work because you know what you have to do for the rest of the day. You learn how to manage your time well this way.
Don’t make a long list or else you might feel overwhelmed and stretched far again. Make sure what you plan are small and achievable goals for the day.
Scientific studies have shown that those who spend less time at their office or work, and more time relaxing – are more effective and productive.
Take short breaks between work to stretch your body, close your eyes, breathe, which can reduce the pace with which you deal with the rest of the day.
Also, remain organized in your work place by removing all that you don’t need so you don’t rush through when you need something.
You will be less hurried, more productive, and happier when your physical work spaces are clutter-free.
3- Do one thing at one time
Learn to let go of multi-tasking and concentrating on doing just one thing at a time.
That’s because when you multi-task, you don’t enjoy what you do as you try doing many things together.
If you are working, keep your TV, phones and emails OFF, and when you are watching TV or spending time with your loved ones – keep work away.
This one’s again a reminder for me too, though I remain focused in what I do but still need to get better in this area.
4- Balance out your day
Life is all about making the right choices and balancing things out. Take out a little time from your busy schedule to work, play, relax, and be with your family and loved ones.
Focus on people and be there when you are present with them. Don’t talk to them while talking on your mobiles or working.
That way you are there, but your mind is on things you need to do. You might listen, but you’re really thinking about yourself and what you want. Just shut off the world when you connect with those who matter.
Maintain your friendships and relationships because life is also about family and friends, and taking out time for them. Perhaps over the weekend, if you don’t have the time during the week.
5- Take out time for yourself
How can you find this quiet time for yourself?
By turning off the TV, cell phone, computer, and all your work, and just doing something that you like or want to do.
It’s good to sometimes enjoy life’s simple luxuries and pamper yourself. Here are some ways to take out some ‘me’ time, though you can add a lot more to it –
- Share a chocolate with your loved ones
- Enjoy a new hairdo or makeover
- Read a good book
- Listen to music
- Spend time with your pet – I do, with my dog 🙂
- Take up a hobby daily
- Play with your kids
- Spend time with your spouse
- De-stress and completely relax at least once a week
- Go out and enjoy nature. Try hiking, fishing, boating, and sightseeing if you love the outdoors
- Take a stroll, and if you know the benefits of walking – walk through and explore different paths
- Or anything else that makes you feel good
Notice the small things in life that you wouldn’t otherwise. You can find them when you are away from your work or doing something you love doing.
What fun it would be to have such a ‘me’ time. You could just wear what you feel like, eat, drink, and make merry all day long.
Of course, without any Internet, or laptop – this means no social media too! Ah…I wait for that day!
6- Learn to give up on one thing
There’s a lot to be done, isn’t there? I feel like that so often. But can I really do more than I’m actually doing? I don’t think so because I am stretching myself quite far already. How can I or you change that?
That can be done by trying to give up just on one thing from your schedule.
If you visit social networks thrice a day, make it twice. If you visit 10 blogs daily, cut then down to 7 or 8. If you go to the gym daily, make it 5 days a week.
Small differences in your lifestyle will change your life.
When you reschedule your time like this, you’d find more time to relax and recoup. So, learn to schedule less and do more with the time you have.
7- Don’t procrastinate
Some people procrastinate their work time, which causes them to push their work to be done later. What time do they take out to do such work? They use their relaxation or entertainment or the ‘me’ time.
Instead, do the work you planned for the day, so that your time remains yours and you end it feeling satisfied. More so, you’ll not fell stressed or guilty of leaving work pending for later.
8- Learn to say no
Some of you might be having a problem saying no or refusing favors asked of you. Even though you don’t want to disappoint your friends, you need to prioritize and refuse them from time to time.
Just be honest as your friends will understand, especially if you can’t attend a get-together, event, function, hangout, or any such thing. Remember, it all comes down to managing your time yourself.
9- Finding joy and living in the moment
There is a lot of joy in each day, provided you look for it.
It could be a new flower blooming in your garden, a toothless grin from a 90 year old, kids cooking a meal for you, or just about anything that make you happy.
Learn to appreciate these precious moments life puts forth you. Go with the flow and do just what needs to be done. Take each day as it comes – as if it were the last.
Be mindful of whatever you do at the moment. Yes, your mind races towards thing that need to be done, or thoughts about the past – bring yourself back to the live in the present moment.
Do whatever you do, with love. Like when you are cooking, instead of rushing through it and thinking it to be a boring chore that you want to end quickly, really get involved.
Enjoy the aroma, the spices, the sizzle, the sensation of chopping the vegetables, or tasting the food when it’s done. You’ll learn to take each task as an enjoyable one, provided you think positively about it.
Change what’s in your power, and leave the rest – just let it GO! You can’t change people, or things, but you can change the way you react to them.
Most importantly, when you find yourself rushing through life and stressed out, stop and just breathe – then take a few more deep breaths. Notice how the stress reduces.
That’s because you focus on breathing, and pull yourself back to the present. You slow down your pace. Try doing it right now and feel the difference. 🙂
“When you calm your body & your emotions, you restore yourself, and restore peace to the world around you.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
Although I write about this, I know my hubby would say that I don’t follow this one! That’s because I love to plan and execute my day or else I really can’t work efficiently. More so, when I plan it reduces my anxiety.
I don’t like sudden changes, but I understand that life happens, plans change, and sometimes things are out of your control.
You need to accept life and adapt to the changes that take place. So, I am slowly learning to do all these things too. How about you? 🙂
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Imagine a world where everyone slowed down a little – the drivers, housewives, businessmen, and motorcyclists. For starters – there would be fewer accidents and so much more time to connect!
When you jump from one task to another and forget what you just did, or which direction you just came from, you lose awareness of everything around you, thus lose to live in the moment.
You create a vicious cycle for yourself where you find yourself running after time. And as you hurry, you make mistakes, achieve little, and take much more time doing the things that need to be done.
Sounds familiar? Is that how you become sometimes? So, what can you do about it?
Slow down, and resist the very thought of rushing through.
Step into the present; be aware, alert, and conscious. When you are focused, you can make better choices and feel much more in control.
Remember, when you slow down and enjoy life, your will reduce the stress and tension that comes across in your work, family, and relationship. It would give you immense happiness and satisfaction.
So, stop rushing through life, because in doing so, you are missing out on a lot of things that matter.
“You’re only here for a short visit. Don’t hurry, don’t worry. And be sure to smell the flowers along the way.” ~ Walter Hagen
I value my Dad’s words when he said that life isn’t a 100 meter race, it’s a marathon – you need to run long not fast. For that, you need to be like the tortoise – be slow, be steady, and win the race!
Are you ready for changing your life for the better? Let’s make an attempt to win this long race together 🙂
Over to you –
When was the last time you lived in the moment? Why are you always rushed for time? What ways would you suggest to stop rushing through life and enjoy it? Share in the comments below.
Photo Credit: FreeDigitalPhotos