It’s About Time
Ruth Wong

Tips can help you
brake frenetic pace

There always seems to be so many things to do, places to go and people to see that it's easy to succumb to "hurry sickness."

After my last column -- "Why rush through life?" -- how many of you diagnosed yourself as having this malady?

When you feel like you're rushing through life and each day is a blur, and you're wondering what happened to leisure, it's time to put on the brakes.

Here are some practical steps to help you decelerate and s-l-o-w d-o-w-n:

S -- Strive to keep current with your work. Trying to catch up with leftover tasks in addition to completing today's tasks can be a major contributor to hurry sickness.

L -- Leave off of today's "To Do" list things that don't realistically fit into the time you have available. Leave off things that needn't be done today, as well as things that don't need to be done at all.

O -- Organize your work and know what needs to be done first, second and third. Assign a reasonable block of time for each of your important tasks.

W -- While working on a task, consciously enjoy the process and not just the end result. Find pleasure in researching as well as writing the report, in preparing the meal and not just eating it, in traveling to the destination and not just in arriving.

D -- Don't forget to leave a margin of peace between appointments, tasks and errands. Allow time for unexpected interruptions, snafus and traffic jams.

O -- Observe those around you and look for things to compliment and encourage. Getting our eyes off our own work and ourselves can help to bring balance, perspective and meaning to our day.

W -- Wind down at the end of the day by doing something just for yourself, something you enjoy, even if just for 15 minutes. Try watching the sunset (it only takes about 10 minutes, and I think it's a million-dollar spectacle) or taking a short walk or reading. On your day off, block off at least an hour for yourself.

N -- Notice the first sign that you're slipping back into the hurry-scurry-worry mode. Slow down, take a deep breath and begin again at the first step.

Let's protect ourselves from hurry sickness before our families are infected and we drag our children into the same mode.

It is possible to reverse hurry sickness. Your awareness of the situation and your desire to change can provide the motivation.

Happy decelerating! See you in two weeks!

"It's About Time," by Ruth Wong, owner of Organization Plus, runs the fourth Friday of each month. Contact her at "It's About Time," care of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, Honolulu 96813; or e-mail features@starbulletin.com

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