Are you addicted to being "busy, busy, busy"?
Posted on 17th September 2014 at 07:30
This week we thought we’d have a change and bring some culture to our blog (!). So here goes…
Like us, you probably haven’t heard this poem since your school days, but it sums up perfectly what we’re missing out on these days.
"What is this life, if full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.
No time to turn at beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare."
W H Davies
Coming across this poem after so many years, it got us thinking about how addicted everyone seems to be to being busy these days. Not just having a few things that, ideally, should be done today. But being BUSY, BUSY, BUSY. And did we mention just how BUSY we are…
How competitive people are about being busy. Able to reel off long lists of all the thing they have to do NOW, their worries, stresses and so it goes on.
And how time seems to rush by faster and faster? So we have less and less time to do things…
Oh, and why is it that every new labour saving device – or one that’s guaranteed to save us time – seems to have exactly the opposite effect?
It’s strange that, as our world has become increasingly high tech, we seem to have less time to appreciate it and do the things we really want to do.
So, here’s a radical idea, if we can stop long enough to give it our full attention. Perhaps our addition to being busy is the real problem. The more we rush around, the faster time passes. So we have to rush a bit more trying to catch up. But never quite do. And so it goes on.
Suddenly we’ve all become like hamsters in a wheel. Running as fast as we can, but going nowhere.
The interesting thing about rushing is that it changes our focus. All our attention is on the future – what needs to be done next – rather than where we are now – the present. We seem to find it impossible to give whatever we’re doing 100% of our attention.
Add to this our modern day preoccupation with multi tasking and it just makes matters worse… Which brings to mind the old adage of “more haste, less speed.”
So, isn’t it time for a different approach to life? Without a doubt, yes! And, ironically, the solution is simple although it may seem rather counter intuitive.
Slow down. Focus 100% on what you’re doing now. That’s it!
As you slow down, time seems to slow down too. Suddenly you’ve got more time than you expected.
Things seems to fall into place much more easily, as you’re not trying to force them into place. .
You get more done, more easily and in less time. And, as an added bonus, you don’t spend each day feeling frazzled.
If this all sounds too good to be true, here’s a really simple example that bought it home to us recently.
Picture the scene, we’ve all been there. You’re running late, with an appointment half an hour’s drive away and only 20 minutes to get there.
So what do you do? Dash off, worrying about being late, how you’re going to make up the time, etc, etc.
And what happens? Guaranteed, the worst journey you could possibly imagine. Delays. Dawdling drivers. Tractors. Traffic lights on red. Road works.
The more you try to hurry things along, the worse things become.
The end result is all too predictable. You arrive at least 20 minutes late, with sky high blood pressure and a temper to match… Sound familiar?
Now let’s try a different approach. Ok, you’re running late, but know that rushing doesn’t help. So you take a deep breath, decide to relax and drive at your normal speed.
Miraculously, the traffic is fine and you arrive at your destination only a few minutes late. Somehow, time seems to have slowed down and you arrive feeling remarkably calm.
So how did that happen? Well by focussing on where you are now – the present – you allow things to fall into place. Your attention is firmly on the only things you have any control over. The here and now. And, most importantly, how you react to it. It’s really that easy.
If you’re still not convinced, here are a couple of experiments for you to try at home for yourself:
Instead of rushing around in the morning – doing all those things you simply MUST do before you leave home – why not take a deep breath, slow down and do them one at a time. With 100% of your attention. You’ll be amazed at how much more you get done and how much more time you’ll have.
Or how about practising on your weekly supermarket shop? It’s a great way to see the benefits of not partaking in trolley rage…
And as you go about your day, why not stop from time to time to “smell the roses” and enjoy life? After all isn’t that what life is really about…
As always, the choice is yours.
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