Change of Pace

Quick – what’s the number one status symbol in the 21st century? Give up? It’s adrenaline overload. That’s right…having too much to do is the ultimate status symbol. People believe when they’re busy, people need them and if they’re needed, they must be important.

We believe that having too much to do is brag-worthy and if we slow down, we look like failures and we can’t do this in a restless society.

We always feel the need to keep up – to constantly complete our to-do lists, plan the next trip, complete the work report or home renovation. When we step off the racetrack for a few moments, we feel uncomfortable because our bodies have adapted to the high-speed of the track and don’t know how to slow down.

Some people like speed because it masks pain they feel in their relationships, the inadequacy of their careers or their feelings of frustration; if they keep moving, they won’t have time to think about deeper issues.

There are some people who operate better with a busy life. If they feel happy, healthy and well-adjusted, they don’t need to read on. For the rest of us, we need ideas on how to cope.

No one really thrives on stress; it’s only a short term reflex to jump-start us to spring into action. Stress is supposed to be short term but the chaos in our lives makes it constant and it’s the constant adrenaline injection that affects our health.

How do we make the change and reduce stress in our lives? Stop thinking of managing stress; stress is something that happens inside us – it’s our internal reaction to external factors. To eliminate stress, change your thinking.

For example, if you have a busy week and typically think it’s stressful, say, ‘I have a challenging week ahead.’

Next, stop measuring your importance by how much you accomplish and cram into your day (this one’s a challenge). If you find this next to impossible, work on one major task a day and be happy with your results.

Try these techniques for busting the busyness game:

1.Put your needs at the top of your list – take one minute or one hour and do something for you

2.Slow down for tasks you enjoy

3.Eliminate perfectionism – it doesn’t exist, so why bother?

4.Some tasks are more important – do them first, then find time for the other things

5.Only multitask if you’re alone or not disconnecting from others – nothing is worse than talking on the phone, yelling at people and not paying attention

6.Stop judging yourself against others – no one has a perfect life no matter how good it looks on the surface – something is sacrificed


Turning over a new leaf will take time; nothing happens overnight and if you follow this advice, you won’t be so impatient. Take your time and enjoy the journey, not just the destination.