“Every day brings a choice: to practice stress or to practice peace.” -Joan Borysenko
The other day, as I approached the street I needed to cross to visit the Coffee Bean near my apartment, I noticed there were only 5 seconds left on the walk signal. Instinctively, I ran. With a laptop. And a purse. In the heat. And why?
If I missed the walk signal, there would be another one in a little over a minute. The president wasn't waiting on me with lattes getting cold. And there wasn't a baby in the middle of the road who needed rescuing. It was like some type of Pavlovian response to the ticking countdown. I saw it, and I decided to accept the challenge of making it (which I did).
Ridiculous though this admission may be, I noticed that lots of us struggle to beat the clock when it's completely unnecessary.
We speed up to make green lights, even though it would be far less stressful to just wait for the next one.
We try to squeeze additional tasks into small unexpected windows of time, instead of simply appreciating the extra ten minutes that result when someone is late to a meeting.
We set ourselves up to struggle with time even though there's no rational reason to do it. It's far more useful to save the energy it takes to rush than it is to save two minutes. It's much more productive to recharge during unexpected downtime than to scurry to get things done.
It's just that sometimes we forget that saving time and filling it are not the same as using it well.
Today if you find yourself rushing and cramming activities into your minutes, remember: It's a lot easier to live in the moment when you choose not to make the moment stressful.
Photo by Lara604