There’s a song by the country and western group Alabama that is often played out at the MSU ballpark.
The refrain goes like this:
“I’m in a hurry and don’t know why. I rush and rush until life’s no fun. All I really gotta do is live and die, but I’m in a hurry and don’t know why.”
Oh boy, that should be my theme song! I rush through my day like everything must be accomplished by noon. I often make errors and misplace things because my mind is somewhere else. In fact, my grocery store debacle yesterday (the bra in the hood episode) was a result of being in too much of a rush.
There’s a book out by Marc Lesser called “Less: Accomplishing More by Doing Less.” I picked it up at Barnes and Noble and speed-read the book while sipping a double latte. (See? I can’t even do one thing at a time – always multi-tasking.)
"We must be completely present for what we are doing,” says Lesser. “without sacrificing or rushing what’s in front of us in order to get to ‘more important’ stuff later. He suggests that we try to "treat everything as important and take pleasure in it.”
How often are you engaged in a task while focused on another activity that needs doing? You empty the dishwasher while reviewing all the other chores ahead – feed the cat, fold the laundry etc. etc. . I rush through my day this way and it leaves me irritable and unsatisfied.
The author’s advice is worth heeding. In a nutshell, he offers this "Take Action Challenge," to reclaim enjoyment in everyday tasks rather than rushing through them.
*Simply notice where your mind is while engaged in an activity. You might be reading emails, watching TV, listening to a friend, or working on a project at your desk. Are you present for the activity or are you thinking about something else that needs to get done? Just bring awareness to your behavior without judging it.
* Next, gently bring your mind back to the present activity by saying something like: "I choose to be fully engaged in this activity right now." Then, use your senses to ground yourself in the present moment. What do you feel with your body? What do you hear or see? What can you taste or smell?
You’ll know you’re getting it when you feel yourself slowing down, relaxing, and breathing more deeply and fully. Then, wait for the joy. It shows up when you slow down long enough to realize that this very moment is actually the best time of your life, regardless of what you’re doing.