All around me people are commenting about how fast the year has gone with the wondering ‘What happened to February?’.
Of course, we all logically know that time can’t go faster; it just feels like it is going faster.
A friend once suggested that this was due to age. Her logic being that when you are five a year feels like a very long time (because you haven’t had many of them). As you get older, you’ve had many more years and so time can feel like it is going faster. There could well be merit to this thinking.
When you rush from meeting to meeting, appointment to appointment and with the juggle of life, it can be very easy for the day to fly past very quickly. You can fail to notice what’s really happening around you because you are so focused on what you need to do next.
Rather than making the moments matter, you become focused on merely surviving the day – ultimately rushing and feeling exhausted!
One of the best pieces of advice I got was just before my wedding. My then boss said to me – ‘Make sure you find time during the day to stop, step back and observe what is happening around you. The day will go by really quickly and you want to make sure you remember the moments’.
At the time he said it, his comments didn’t fully resonate; but I remembered to take his advice on the day. Sure enough…the day flew past so quickly. I found, however, that by stopping, savouring the energy, soaking in the atmosphere and noticing how I and everyone else was feeling I was able to capture the moment. I made the moments matter.
When you make each moment matter, you slow your mind down becoming more present and focused. You take the time to notice what’s happening and to remember what matters.
This can be hard to do, so if you want to find ways to more readily do this then here are some ideas to get you started:
Be clear on your ‘no’
When you are clear on your goals, it becomes easier to know what to say ‘no’ to. Saying ‘no’ is critical across all elements of your life as it helps you stay focused on what really matters. Saying ‘no’ gives you time for the moments that matter.
Stop and breathe
While it is great to be goal-driven and clear on what you want to get done in the day it can all feel like a blur if you are rushing all day – every day. So in the midst of the day take the time to press the pause button. Look around you. Notice what is happening. Notice how you feel and be grateful for what you have.
Soak it in
When you are present, you are giving other people your undivided attention, which shows them they matter to you. As well, when you are present and focused, you’re available to soak in what’s happening and experience the moment, rather than focusing on what comes next.
Let it go
It can be easy to be consumed by things that don’t matter. As you are reflecting, notice where you are directing your energy. Is it to things that are helpful or hurtful? Progressive or destructive emotions? Practicing to detach from things that consume your energy is important because it opens up space and energy for you to focus on things that do matter.
While you can’t slow time, you can create practices that enable you to appreciate the time you have, which is good for your mind, body, and soul.
As American psychologist, creator of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, Abraham Maslow once said: “The ability to be in the present moment is a major component of mental wellness.”
Getting you ready for tomorrow, today®.
Michelle Gibbings is a workplace expert, working with global leaders to build workplaces where leaders and employees thrive and great things happen. She is the Author of ‘Step Up: How to Build Your Influence at Work’, ‘Career Leap: How to Reinvent and Liberate your Career’ and the new book ‘Bad Boss: What to do if you work for one, manage one or are one’.