Recognizing and Recovering From Hurry Sickness

  • Jul 28, 2009
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In a day when we're supposed to have so many devices to help us save time, I've never seen so many hurried and restless people! This goes for the office as well as the home.



We have the technology - computers, cell phones, iphones, blackberries, twitter - yet we still rush. What was designed to save time confines us to information twenty four hours a day seven days a week.

At home, we have several things designed to help us save time: dishwashers, washers, dryers, microwaves, and vacuum cleaners. We can even DVR our favorite television shows during the week to watch 'when we have more time.' These conveniences are intended to help us save time, but many times we use them to do more and more.

It has created an epidemic I'll call hurry sickness. I'll describe it. for you. If you suffer from this malady, you can relate to these scenarios:

• You're driving. You approach a stop light that has cars in both lanes. You start calculating which car will 'get off the line' faster. You carefully look at the make, model, and year of the car. You look to see the age of the driver. You make bets with yourself to see which will pull away the fastest.

• You're grocery shopping. As you finish, you carefully look at all of the check out lines. You count the people, looking into the shopping carts to see how many items the person has. If you're really sick, you keep track of who would have been you in the line next to you. You watch as you go through together. Mentally you pressure the people in front of you. If the person who would have been you in this other line gets finished first and is out the door and you're still standing there, you go away depressed. You lost!

• You are 'polyphasic.' It means you have to be doing more than one thing at the same time. You see it all the time on the road. People driving alone in the car, drinking coffee, eating a pop-tart, reading the paper, listening to the radio, talking on the cell phone, making gestures at the same time. Your drive on the way to school involves signing homework papers, handing juice boxes to the back of the car, putting in DVD's for the children to watch, all the while trying to have meaningful conversations with your student.

If you suffer from this difficulty, there is hope. Here are three things you can do to help restore balance in your life. The principles are taken from the creation story.

Rest. It's a foreign word to many. Rest is the process through which you restore balance, rejuvenate energy, and regain perspective. On the seventh day, God rested.

Reflection. Stop to think about where you are, where you're going, and how you're going to get there. Auto pilot has become common place. Reflection was also built into God's process of creation. There is a repeated refrain: "And God said... and it was so.... and God saw that it was good."

Recreation. Do you know the joy of not being strategic, utilitarian, scheming, and calculating and living life for the sheer joy of being alive? We need to learn the art of play from children. Children can lose themselves in the joy of the moment.

Take a break today. Say 'no' to something. Enjoy being still.

Steve Fultz

Steve Fultz, PhD, is CEO and Creator of http://www.leadbettertoday.com View his other sites at http://www.stevefultz.com

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