5 ways to halt your hurry at work
Slow down enough to make room for happiness within your new year
Have you ever said done any of the following things:
- Used the phrase “slow” to describe something you don’t like? For example: the meeting was slow. The movie is slow.
- Felt a sense of urgency about every task that you do in a day?
- Experience guilt because you don’t have enough time to focus on what you value most in life?
- Feel unsuccessful or unproductive anytime you are not “on task”?
- Have a hard time unplugging from your phone? Computer? Ipad?
- Get anxious when your phone is in another room?
- Feel the urge to frequently during a day to check social media?
- When you are given a gift of time, for example, a cancelled meeting you immediately go to something else on your to-do list rather than embracing the moment to breathe?
- After having a conversation with someone you have no idea what they said because your mind was swirling around what you need to do next?
If you answered yes to more than 3 of the above questions then you have been hijacked by hurry.
The definition of hurry is to move or act with haste. It is an uncomfortable subtle tug to do rather than be in life that robs you of the life in front of your face.
Perhaps this is why “mindful” living is gaining so much interest these days. We now have a legitimate title for when you are hijacked by hurry in life, it’s called hurry sickness.
Hurry sickness was coined 40 years ago by a prominent cardiologist who noticed that all of his heart disease patients shared a common behavioral characteristic: they were all in a chronic rush.
By definition, hurry sickness is “a behavior pattern characterized by continual rushing and anxiousness; an overwhelming and continual sense of urgency.
A malaise in which a person feels chronically short of time, and so tends to perform every task faster and gets flustered when encountering any kind of delay.” (source Psychology Today). Recognize yourself?
Hurry sickness is characterized by the following symptoms (source: The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry by John Comer):
Irritability: You are that person that people feel they need to walk on egg shells, not knowing what will trigger you. You are easily annoyed or angry.
Hypersensitivity: You take things personally, take offense easily. Your emotional responses do not align with the reality of the situation.
Restlessness: When you do intentionally slow down your mind keeps racing with all the stuff you feel you need to do and you can’t relax.
Workaholism (or just nonstop activity): you don’t or can’t stop doing to the point that when the sun sets you don’t have anything left for your loved ones.
Emotional numbness: because you are busy being busy, empathy gets left in the dust…you simply don’t have time for it.
Out-of-order priorities: you don’t align your time with what you value most in life.
Lack of care for your body: Basically busy being busy results in not enough time to take care of your body, who has time to exercise in the midst of hurry?
Escapist behaviors: When we stop being renewable…being able to expend energy without depleting the source, we turn to unhealthy behaviors for escape: social media addiction, Netflix binging, over-eating, over-drinking…name your escape route.
Slippage of spiritual disciplines: When you are hijacked by the hurry, you tend to let those things that truly strengthen you from the inside out slide to the back seat of your time and attention. When I was diagnosed with cancer, my spiritual life flipped back to the front seat of my attention very quickly. What’s it going to take for you to reboot the source of your emotional energy in life?
Isolation: You isolate yourself within the vault of your overactive mind.You slowly slip away from your ability to be in the moment and connect with the life in front of your face: a child laughing, the beauty of a sunset, the celebration of another person’s victory over an illness, the blooming of a tree that has been dormant all winter.
So, do you have it? Thoughtfully take a moment to look over the above symptoms and see where you recognize yourself. Clarity of focus leads to accuracy of response. Once you identify what is not working for you in life, you are now in a position to explore solutions.
As we are heading into a new year together, what do you want to do more of? Less of? It’s time to pause, get off the stage of the hurry and focus on slowing down so that you don’t wake up as Adam Sandler did in the movie Click and life has passed you by. Adam gets hijacked by all the doing and loses his life as he knew it, included those he loved.
Slow has a bad rap. It simply means to reduce your speed. What if you committed to slowing down in the New Year? What would that look like for you? What would you need to less of in order to make more more room for what you value most?
Don’t wait until your body starts giving you obvious clues that you need to slow down if you want to live longer. When I was diagnosed with advanced cancer at 38 years old with 3 young children, one week prior to my final divorce court date it was a wake up call to slow down. Have I been the perfect student of a more relaxed version of me? Yes and no which is why I am reminding myself by writing this article to halt my hurry.
Below are 5 simple ways you can halt your hurry before your hurry halts you:
Breathe and slow down: 90% of your biological energy is oxygen fueled. 70% of your toxins leave your body every time you exhale. See how many deep, intentional breaths you can take each hour. My Grandfather lived to 98, every morning he woke up, he stood up and took 20 deep breaths before starting his day. Take mini-retreats between transitions in your day to bring your attention to your surroundings what you can see, feel, hear, touch and taste. Wake up to the life in front of your face, look around you and above you. Notice the sky, trees, people.
Meditate/prayer: As soon as you wake up in the morning, before grabbing any electronic device, pause, sit, kneel or simply lay quietly as you set your mind for the day so it doesn’t set you. Contemplation as well as concentration is hijacked in the dust storm of hustle. Sit in silence for 10 minutes each day to reboot your ability to access the power of the present moment. Appreciative inquiry drops in intentional quieting of the mind: what’s working, why is it working, how can I do more of that?
Read and journal: Preferably a paper book. These two activities require reflection which can only occur by being the observer of your life rather than the reactor. Pause at the end of each day of reflect on what worked out for you, what good did you bring into the world? What are you grateful for? Where would you have wanted to add more patience? Presence? Love?
Do at least one random act of kindness each day: Hurry is very self-absorbed. Counter this tendency by intentionally making someone else’s day a little brighter. Intentionally seek out at least one give back project in your day. It could be as simple as calling up a friend or colleague and letting them know how much you appreciate them. We all have a deep-seated desire to know that we matter. Why not be the person who reminds other people of their value?
Align your time and attention with what you value most: What are your top 3 values? Health and wellness? Meaningful relationships? Contribution? Spirituality? Fun? Write down your top 3 values and then reflect on what percentage of your time an attention you spend honoring these values in your days. Identify and adjust: What do I want to do more of in the new year and less of in order to align what I do with what I value most.
Create a T-chart and write down on the right side: More Of and on the left side: Less of. Be the boss of your time and attention so that it does not become the boss of you. Halt your hurry in the New Year to make room for more creativity and presence which are both linked to innovative and inspiring ideas.
Slow down enough to make room for happiness within your new year.
Lauren E Miller, has a Masters in Adult Education with a Certification in Human Resources Development. She has personally conquered two of life’s top stressors at the same time, advanced cancer and divorce. Now Google’s #1 Stress Relief Expert, Award Winning Author, HRD Trainer and Certified Sherpa Executive Coach, Lauren provides process driven programs and custom trainings with structure, guidance, support and accountability designed to create positive change in behavior resulting in positive impact on business (IOB) and life purpose. Explore More: http://LaurenEMiller.com.