Why Do We Rush Even When We Don’t Have To?

Why Do We Rush Even When We Don’t Have To?

Rick Petronella Newsletter
Rick J. Petronella, PhD
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As former Senior Vice President of HR for the Merrill Trust, life coach and executive coach, Dr. Rick offers a distinct perspective in his practice both professionally and personally. He brings a unique blend of nearly 30 years’ consulting experience with individuals, families, and organizations that he shares with clients to develop insights into why we think, feel, and behave as we do and how we make successful changes that promote and sustain a better quality of life.

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July 2018
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Why Do We Rush Even When We Don’t Have To?

We have just celebrated the 4th of July. We have enjoyed our families, friends, and loved ones, picnics, gatherings, and making memories. Now back to the real world… We go from a slower pace into the rat race of our responsibilities. Somehow we tend to feel the pressure to pick up the pace… Why?

When we are in work mode, many of us rush about as a means to an end: as a method for getting results in the form of good experiences, such as relaxation and happiness. There is an unsettled tendency inside of us that keeps trying to suck us back into methods for arriving at relaxation and happiness. By habit or fear we jump up and dive into doing things.

There are times we do need to rush. Maybe you’ve got to get our kids to school or activities on time, or the boss really has to have that report by end of day. OK.

But much of the time, we rev up and race about because of unnecessary internal pressures, unrealistic standards for ourselves or because external forces are trying to hurry us along for their own purposes.

How do you feel when you’re rushing? Perhaps there’s a bit of positive excitement, but if you’re like me, there’s mostly, if not entirely, a sense of tension, discomfort, and anxiety. This kind of stress isn’t pleasant for the mind or soul and over time it’s bad for the body. Plus, there’s a loss of autonomy: the rush is pushing you one way or another rather than you yourself deciding where you want to go and at what pace.

Instead, how about stepping aside from the rush as much as you can?

How can we break this pattern? For one thing we can be aware of rushing—your own and others. See how other people assume deadlines that aren’t realistic, or get time pressured and intense about things that aren’t that important. Notice the internal shoulds or musts or simply habits that speed you up.

Then, when the demands of others bear down upon you, buy yourself time—what psychologist Tara Brach calls “the sacred pause”—In order to create a space in which you are free to choose how you will respond. Are you letting the rushing of others around you become your own?

1. Try to slow down the conversation, ask questions, and explore what’s really going on inside of you. Consider the sign I once read, “Your lack of planning is not my emergency.”

2. Try not to create “emergencies” for yourself. You can get much done at your own pace without rushing; plan ahead and don’t procrastinate.

3. Be realistic about your own emotional and physical resources.

4. Remember there are 168 hours in a week, not 169. It’s a kind of healthy let it go, relinquishment, the driven side of us, or the ambition that overcommits and sets us up for rushing.

5. Most importantly, try to rest in and enjoy the richness of the moment and the life you have been given. Your job, your family, and your well-being. Even an ordinary moment—with their sounds, sights, tastes, smells, sensations, feelings, and thoughts—are amazingly interesting and rewarding. Enjoy the present. There’s no need to rush along to anything else.

Teach us to number our days and recognize how few they are; help us to spend them as we should. Psalm 90:12, TLB

The Bible is pointed about the value of each individual day and is equally direct in speaking of our responsibility to use these pieces of time wisely and profitably:

We are to consider each day a valuable gift, and look to God for wisdom in using that gift.

We are to treat each day separately, recognizing that “one day at a time” isn’t just a clever slogan but a practical guideline to help us stay sensitive to today’s duties and not worry about tomorrow.

Featured Article
Self-Quiz: Are You “Too Busy”?

Time is the great equalizer. Everybody gets the same amount: 24 hours in a day, 60 minutes in an hour. We can’t save time or accumulate or rearrange it. We can’t turn it off or on. It can’t be replaced.

But these days, it seems as if the lament of not having enough time has become part of our national anthem. Everywhere people find themselves constantly in a rush, over-booked and over-scheduled with no time off.

Life is accompanied by the ongoing stress of not enough time. And sometimes doing too much and being too busy can be a way of numbing feelings or disguising depression or anger.

Though it may not always seem so, how we fill our time and how we spend it is our choice. Answer the following questions to discover if you’re caught up in the “too-busy” cycle. The amount of Yes determines how much we have been caught up in the hurry up syndrome. Ouch!

1. I constantly find myself doing “urgent” things and trying to catch up.

2. I allow myself to drift into obligations when I don’t know how much time or energy they’ll require.

3. I find myself running from when I get up in the morning until I go to bed at night. I’m always tired and never feel like I accomplished enough.

4. I seldom schedule a day off for myself and when I do, I tend to fill it with activities.

5. I don’t make time for “self-care” activities: physical exercise, nurturing or “pampering” myself, cultural stimulation, spiritual well-being, learning something new, playing, or simply doing nothing.

6. I seldom have time to do the things I really love.

7. My work and project areas are cluttered with “I’ll look at this later” stacks and “to-do” piles.

8. I often miscalculate how long certain activities will take.

9. I often miss deadlines or work long hours to meet a deadline.

10. I respond to interruptions such as phone calls, faxes, email, beepers and pagers, and allow them to take me off track.

11. I try to keep things in my head rather than making lists. If I do make a daily “to-do” list, it’s impossible to complete in a day.

12. I tend to move from one urgent thing to the next, rather than working toward specific goals and objectives.

13. I find myself constantly wishing I had more time or projecting an imaginary future when I have more time, making comments such as “as soon as…” or “next year…”

14. I spend time running errands and rushing because I didn’t plan well enough.

15. I spend time doing things I could pay someone else to do.

16. I often do things because I “should,” or continue to do things that no longer fit who I am.

17. Other people complain that my schedule doesn’t allow enough time for them.

What’s Happening This Summer At Compass. Take A look.

• DUI Treatment and Clinical Evaluations
• State Approved Treatment Programs

Our DUI treatment programs and Clinical Evaluations are state approved for court ordered treatment. Allow us to help you. We also do Interventions for those struggling to get help. Call today.

We also provide:

• Individual, Relationship, & Child Counseling.
• Choices: Drug & Alcohol Court Ordered Group – Weekly. We also work with your probation officer. (DUI, possession charges, and other issues arising from substance abuse.)
• Challenges Adolescent Group Held Weekly.
• Anger Management Classes
• Diversion Classes For Shop Lifting & Thief Prevention
• Drug Screening (Also available on site and home kits.)
• Relapse Prevention & Early Intervention Program
• Interventions for your loved ones
• MANALIVE Men’s Group (Starts this September)

Adolescent female group – Now forming. Charity & Bethany are offering a 4 week intensive for adolescence. This is a focused group which will be held to a very limited number of teen girls. Give them a call about how to sign up your teen.

Counseling for drug and alcohol issues: We treat both the addicted loved one as well as the battle weary family. We are here for you.

Executive Coaching is also available for the busy professional, who seems to never have time.

Bethany Kinzel MA, LPC has a vast experience working with adolescents as well as young married couples. She also works with families and children going through divorce. Bethany has served in both inpatient as well as out-patient settings. We welcome her to our practice as one of our therapists. 678-395-7922.

Charity Simpson NCC, MS, M.Div. specializes in children, adolescents, and women’s issues. She runs a group for young women on Monday nights from 6 pm to 7:30 pm. It is quite popular. Give her a call. The first appointment is free. 678-395-7922.

Bob Roland Th.M. is our newest member of Compass Consulting. He is a very seasoned pastoral counselor. Bob specializes in Couples, Families and Individual counseling. Give him a call. 678-395-7922.

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