We are perpetually trying to get more done in a day. But like the White Rabbit in Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, the hurrier up we go, the behinder we get.
It appears that we never have enough time, and always have too much to do. A University of Kansas study tested a theory that time appears to speed up when individuals group their experiences into categories, rather than experiencing each moment as distinct.
Carl Honoré in his book In Praise of Slowness notes that slowing down actually helps us to get more done. He sites a private high school that discontinued the practice of giving homework assignments, choosing to let kids rest and relax after school. Test scores went up by 20 percent in the first year.
Knowing that slowing down helps us to actually do more, we can choose to not participate in the cult of speed. We can take our time to really savor the moment. We can put our full attention on what we are doing, take pleasure in doing it well, and immerse ourselves in the experience of doing it.
Think about when time feels like it is dragging and when it feels like the hours have flown by? The quality that helps us not get caught in the trap of time is focus. When we focus our attention fully on what is at hand, not only does time seem to fly by, but we are able to attend to our tasks more quickly and fully.