Hurrying

One of my 2013 intentions is to stop hurrying.

I am a high-spirited, energetic person a lot of the time, and I’m not looking to change that, but when I hurry, I feel anxious and worry that I’m behind. I fret about forgetting things and flit between tasks. I get caught up in the urgent and forget what is important.

When I hurry, I think that somehow, thirty seconds or two minutes is going to make a difference, which, since I am not a surgeon or a scientist, it probably will not. To me, this seems like a symptom: I am losing perspective, holding one minute to be essential, holding myself to be the critical element. Often enough, I’m being perfectionist, pushing for a standard that isn’t realistically attainable, or isn’t attainable without sacrificing something I value in the process. And, predictably, I miss out on the truly important when I hurry: on connection, on delight, on gratitude.

So I’m trying not to hurry. I’m taking tasks one at a time, and when I think of another thing I should be doing, I have a little notebook where I can write them down. (“You’re going to forget!” is one of the Hurry Tribble’s most-used lines.) I’m reminding myself that things only get done as fast as they get done, and that trying to do three of them at once generally slows things down rather than speeds them up. I’m doing less rushing to try to be on time and more sending of apologetic texts letting people know I’m five minutes late. I’m walking slowly, eating slowly, pausing to take deep breaths.

Less hurry. More space. I’ll let you know how I’m doing in a few months!

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1 comment to Hurrying

  • I have a little notebook where I can write them down

    While I am not an amazing non-hurrier, this might be the best piece of advice I ever got in high school. Have some one place where everything goes. At the time, it was a day planner, and non-time-dependent things got put in the notes section that almost every day planner comes with. Now that I keep an electronic schedule, the day planner has fallen out of use, and much of the time the “notebook”=my smartphone and the cloud. But I almost always have at least one pen and at least one notebook or packet of index cards for the purpose. In high school, I adopted the mantra for organization: “If it’s not written in the day planner, it doesn’t exist.” And that has helped a lot, or versions of it. The packet of index cards also serves as a kind of help to people who don’t have that system: “Do you want me to write it down and give it to you?” I don’t know if it really helps them, but it is what i wish more people would have done for me before I learned to write stuff down.

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