Is it just me or has the world sped up? Last time I looked, Santa was bumbling his way down the chimney. Then I blinked and now we’re eating hot cross buns and Anzac biccies. Is there a little man up there somewhere, chuckling away to himself, slowly cranking up the time dial on life and watching us all get more and more frazzled?
I know I’m not alone. Talking about the speed at which life is hurtling us forward is becoming as common as discussing the weather. In fact, it’s becoming so common, I think it deserves its own acronym – LISUP – Life Speeding Up Phenomenon!
We seem to feel quite anxious about LISUP for two reasons. Firstly, we might feel that somehow life is taking us over, that we’re losing control of life, like being on a runaway train with no driver. Secondly, we might feel that at some point in the not too distant future the train will get so fast we’ll be flung off the tracks and into oblivion!
In this day of multiple demands, information overload, and pressure to do more, have more and be more, we often find ourselves just surviving – scurrying and scrabbling to get from one end of the day to the other. Whilst being busy and getting involved in interesting and challenging activities is a good thing, if you’re just cramming stuff in for the sake of being busy, to tick things off your list, or to meet other people’s expectations, it’s no wonder you’re exhausted and feeling like life’s out of control.
So here’s my top 3 strategies for coping with LISUP:
1) Be Present: Most of us spend more time re-hashing the past or worrying about the future than fully engaging in the present. Cultivate the skill of being fully present in every activity you’re doing. If you’re having lunch with friends, but worrying about your next client, of course time will feel like it’s racing by. Stop and take notice of everything within the present moment. Now is the only moment you have.
2) Savour: Don’t forget to take time to savour positive experiences. Even in tough times, life is full of small but powerful moments of positivity that we often skim over or fail to notice completely. Delight in positive people, revel in positive sensations, bask in positive emotions, and don’t forget that reflection and sharing your positive moments with others magnifies the impact.
3) Say No! Take stock of what’s really important to you, then work out what you can stop doing or say no to. Take back control of your life. If you’re not sure how, start with defining or reminding yourself of your core values. Values are the highest principles and beliefs you stand for that make you uniquely you, and represent how you want to behave on an ongoing basis. It’s amazing how many people I see who aren’t aware of their values and therefore have difficulty prioritising and maintaining focus and motivation in tough times. If you would like help to identify your values or to implement other strategies to get back in control of your life, please email me for a confidential discussion about how coaching can help you.
And for our many readers outside of Adelaide, don’t forget that phone coaching is available, and is often preferred by many clients.