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Stop Hurrying and Start Living

You know that feeling when you're so busy with work, life and other commitments it feels impossible to find time for yourself? If you're not getting enough things done on your to-do list, you're not alone. It's common to feel a little overwhelmed, rushed, and even guilty when you're unable to get everything done each day. Staying focused and in the moment is challenging. The problem is only getting worse as the days go by without any progress on your list of things-to do, but there's an easy solution: just stop hurrying and start living!

young professional woman smiling holding her eye glasses in font of a laptop


If you need to create a little more space and enjoyment in your life, try these tips:

1. Learn to be glad that you have more work to do.

Remember, if you have more to do, your time is valuable. Imagine the implication of not having any tasks to complete at work. You'd likely be out of a job sooner, rather than later.

* Be grateful that so many of the people in your life need you.

2. Look for dead time.

Coffee shop storefront with the word relax on the window
Take a moment to relax

You might believe that you're busy 24/7, but that's likely untrue. Use those moments between tasks to mentally relax. We all think much more than necessary.

* If you're working on a report at work, you're probably also thinking about lunch, the unpaid cable bill, and what you're going to do this weekend. None are helpful, nor do they help you get your report completed.

* You'll be much more relaxed and get more accomplished if you mentally limit yourself to the task at hand.

3. Slower can be faster.

The military has a saying, "Slow is smooth and smooth is fast." Calmly approaching each task will frequently result in getting it done quicker. As our minds become over stimulated, it's much more challenging to stay focused.

* Think about how quickly you tie your shoes each day. Now try to tie your shoes as quickly as possible. You'll almost certainly find that you've become slower. Any excessive increase in tension slows things down.

4. Limit unnecessary tasks.

There's no point in spending valuable time on things that don't matter. If you're spending time on tasks that have little meaning, ditch them.

5. Limit the important tasks, too.

You can probably only get a few important tasks done each day. Making a list of 5 is certain to lead to feeling overwhelmed. Pick the 2-3 most important tasks to focus on. The rest can wait until tomorrow.

6. Give yourself the time you need.

guy using his apple watch to estimate how much time he needs for his next meeting.

Everyone does some mental math each day that goes something like this, "This meeting ought to take 60 minutes. I'll need 20 minutes to interview that job candidate. I have 30 minutes to drive home and change. Then, I still have 15 minutes to get Sarah to soccer practice."

* We all tend to be optimistic, and our mental schedule requires everything to go perfectly. The interview could take 20 minutes, at best. It might also take 40 minutes. It probably won't take 10.

* Be realistic and give yourself the time required for each task, as well as the time between tasks.

If you're feeling overwhelmed and constantly in a hurry, it's time to take a step back and focus on enjoying life. These tips will help you create more space for yourself and find moments of joy. Need some extra career support? Check out our career services. We can help you put your best foot forward so you can focus on living your best life.

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