“Please Help Me; I’m Always In A Hurry!”
Dear Dr. LeCrone:
My close friends and family have asked me to write you about my tendency to always be in a hurry.
I must admit that I tend to set deadlines for both myself and others, multitask even when it is not really needed, overcommit myself, constantly check the time and have real trouble relaxing. What I really need from you are some suggestions on how I can begin to change these habits.
-A reader in Michigan
First, let me congratulate you on your desire to change your sense of time urgency. I will suggest some behavioral techniques that may help, but your sense of time urgency may require professional assistance.
Do you feel like you are constantly racing against time? If so, ask yourself, “What’s the rush?”
Try to view time as not being identical in all situations. For instance, getting to work on time is different from waiting in line to see a movie. Finally, rushing to catch a plane may be a necessity, but getting on the first ferry across the bay while on vacation is not as pressing.
Focus more on quality and less on quantity in life. Work on developing meaningful, healthy relationships. Make family time a priority and seek to develop creative endeavors.
Examine your tendencies to be overly controlling and a perfectionist. These things are not easy to change, but recognizing these characteristics and a striving for balance in life can be accomplished over time.
Regular, exercise can be an excellent way to relieve tension and create relaxation.
Meditation, yoga, and deep breathing exercises can also reduce stress and calm a person who tends to be wired and uptight too much of the time.
Set firm boundaries on time devoted to work and then develop activities away from work that are not work related.
Learn to say no and stick with it. Over commitment due to an inability to decline requests is at the root of time urgency in some people.
Take time to smell the flowers, enjoy a sunset, listen to good music and realize that having “hurry sickness” is not the way you want to be remembered.
Harold H. LeCrone, Jr., Ph.D. Copyright © 2008