Post 3 of 4: 6 Simple Tools to Break Free from Time Pressure.
As much as I would love to, I don’t claim to have all the answers. That being said, I would like to share some simple and effective tools with you that have helped me create more freedom from time constraint.
1. Make small changes in your mindset and your habits which can have a big impact on your life.
Here is how Tom Varghese, mechanical engineering student, changed his mindset about time. He wrote, “The bad news is ‘Time flies.’ The good news is you are the pilot.”
It’s wonderful to know that I am in control of how I use each minute, not that the minutes control me. That mental freedom makes all the difference in my day!
2. Get up one hour before you ‘have’ to.
I have trained myself to get up around 5 A.M.. I love the sense of the vast expanse of a whole day spreading out before me. Being up a couple of hours before my actual work schedule begins, creates a beautiful relaxed feeling of spaciousness. Most of the world is still asleep, it is peaceful–even the sun has not risen yet. What would you do with an extra hour in the day? What is it that you have been wanting to do and saying you had no time for? Studying a new subject, exercising, meditating, or reading is a great start to your day.
You just created one whole precious hour to make a start!
3. Begin your day with gratitude.
I love to start the day by going outside, admiring the beauty around me, scanning the yard to spot wildlife crossing our property and by practicing gratitude. Taking a moment to truly becoming present to the privilege of being alive, counting all the blessings in your life, and welcoming the opportunity of a fresh, new day, lets you forget about schedules and responsibilities. You tap into a moment of timelessness.
4. Get present and connected.
So much of our time we spend hanging out in our minds, worrying about the future or harboring regrets about the past. Rarely are we just BEING here NOW.
There are many beautiful activities that help us do that such as conscious breathing, journaling, and meditation. Even just spending a couple of moments with these activities helps you connect with that deeper peaceful place within that’s beyond the constant ripples and restlessness of daily activities and “have to dos.”
The simplest of all is breathing. Try focusing on taking some long, slow deep breaths in, following them all the way from your nostrils through your windpipe into your lungs and all the way back out. You may notice that when you are 100% focused on your breath that you cannot worry at the same time. This can be done any time during the day, to give yourself a 1-minute vacation. Start with 3-5 breaths and enjoy the calmness it induces.
5. Take a power nap.
The clock strikes 4 P.M. and many of us are stuck by the afternoon slump. We feel fatigued and all of a sudden everything seems harder, like we are slogging through dense, clingy mud. We reach for the cookie jar or yet another cup of coffee.
Here is a different solution!
It has been proven that the occasional 10-15 minute nap is more effective in waking yourself up than caffeine. Naps help you make it through the day at a high level of mental and physical performance. Naps reduce stress, bring down blood pressure, improve mental efficiency, boost brain power, and increase your creativity.
Most of us suffer from some degree of sleep deprivation, so a nap will help us catch up. Even Google and Apple encourage their staff to nap by having power nap caves in the work place.
Prioritizing your health and wellbeing higher than timelines and schedules helps you take your power back. Let’s drop everything at certain points, every now and again to regenerate and revitalize in the depths of our subconscious.
You are trading a little time for recouping energy and supercharging yourself for an efficient, productive, and energetic afternoon. A trade worth making!
6. Are you succumbing to time pressure?
As a life coach helping hundreds of clients empower themselves in various aspects of lives, I have noticed that patterns of pressure, stress, as well as disempowered time dynamics, like always being late or feeling burdened to be punctual–even if it means nearly killing yourself in the process — often have their roots somewhere in our childhood. It may be part of an old conditioning we accepted from our families and our environment.
There are simple processes to get to the bottom of any stressful pattern, and to replace them with healthier, more relaxed, and empowering behaviors.
How do you know that you are putting yourself under more stress and time pressure than necessary?
What could change for you to be more relaxed?
How can you make time disappear?
Let’s discuss that in our next blog post.