When time gets out of control and seems to be going by too fast, you sometimes wish you could just slow it down. As you know, time does not increase its speed, but our perception of time changes as we get caught up with various ideas and things to do. I think I would just be stating the obvious if I said that time appears to accelerate as we get busier. That’s why you usually don’t hear busy people complain about how time is going by too slow. I remember being at a restaurant and we mentioned to the waiter how busy it was on that Friday night. He answered, “At least it goes by quick when it’s busy.” When you are focused on your work or whatever you are doing, you don’t pay too much attention to the time. In fact, if you find yourself in what psychologists call the “flow state”, you are completely absorbed by what you’re doing and don’t see time go by at all.
Being busy isn’t a bad thing at all in my opinion. I think it’s healthy to be occupied. Completing tasks and using our brain’s problem solving capabilities keeps our minds sharp and fresh.
Nevertheless, the work can sometimes get out of hand and that can make time accelerate to blistering speeds. You might feel like the sand in the hourglass appears to be always running out. We often experience this when we are under pressure and something needs to be done for a certain date or time. What felt like an hour of work on that report due for Tuesday was actually 4 hours of work. You might even start to panic and get overwhelmed because there are so many things to do in so little time.
When you get to this point, it’s time to take a break and sit still for two minutes.
First, find a quiet and comfortable area. You can stand, sit or lie down. Then get a timer and set it for two minutes. Now try to be still.
Notice how long two minutes feel when you aren’t doing anything. It’s important to not do or think about anything during this exercise. This is not a typical break where you check your phone. Try to fight the temptation to do something before the timer goes off. It is also important to not to look at how much time is remaining or try to count out the seconds.
Once the timer sounds, you’ll have noticed that time has slowed down. It will feel like you just pushed the “reset button”. You might even feel a little less overwhelmed and somewhat relaxed. Time will now be moving at normal speeds again. You can then continue doing what you were doing without feeling like you are losing the race against a clock that is ticking at an unimaginable pace.