Head of Interaction and Service Design at @DigitalDWP
Time. Thinking and stressing about it took up a lot of my life. It increased panic and guilt ten-fold.
“What if I’m late?”
“What if this isn’t finished by X?”
“People expect this of me.”
“I need to not let people wait.”
“You (whoever you was at the time) need to do something as quick as what I would.”
“Why isn’t this done already?”
“Why is this thing taking longer than it should?”
One thing would lead to another and stress and anxiety would turn in to some undesirable traits. I’d get frustrated either with myself or someone else. Internalising it all.
The above used to happen in the past, before the last 12-18 months.
And then something changed.
You see, I’ve been quite open in the fact that I see a counsellor and I’ve been seeing one for quite some time. And whilst a lot of magic happens in those sessions, there was also magic happening on the outside.
As he and I have discussed. I like to self-mentally-medicate myself. And whilst that sounds a little odd. I give myself the capacity to think about me, the things around me and the people that mean the most to me.
Like my two beautiful daughters.
The thing that changed, was my ability to think about time. What it was, what it meant and how it made me and others feel. I realised that I seemed to always be in a rush. I always used terminology like “we’re in a rush” or “we’re going to be late” or “this needs to be done now”.
There is no peace in those three statements. And then your two little daughters in-turn pick up on the fact that they also might be in a rush. There’s no happiness in being in a rush, there’s no happiness in your life when it’s dictated by a measurement of time.
So I have a new theory and one which I’ve been living my life around for a little while now.
You will never be happy if your life is run time-bound.
The most minor of elements of stress, when caught up with others create a larger sense of discourse.
Eradicating these will increase your level of happiness.
So now, I care less about time. I care less about seconds, minutes and hours.
I do the things I need to do. I do the things that need more brain capacity when I’m feeling great. If I’m feeling tired, sad or lethargic I do the easy things.
I would rather get somewhere with enough time rather than run the last hundred yards. But even if time has gotten the best of me, I’m still not running a hundred yards. If it causes me to be ‘late’ in other peoples eyes. I’ll apologise. They’ll thank me for not adding to my stress by running that hundred yards at some point.
One of the questions I put to people is “No one died, did they?” I wish the answer is always no…
And with that, everything is now at peace again.
The changes I’ve noticed in my life have been incredible. Things get done and there is no more rushing around.
We put far too much of a focus on the measurement of time.