Look at when you’re usually late
iStock/monkeybusinessimages In order to change the behavior of constantly rushing, first you need to be mindful of when you are most likely to rush, says A.J. Marsden, PhD, a psychology professor at Beacon College in Leesburg, Florida. Ask yourself: “Are you more likely to rush during your morning routine, during boring or routine tasks, or before your workouts? Knowing when you have a tendency to rush will help you pinpoint the reasons for your rushing.” This will help you avoid creating emergencies for yourself, which leads us to her second suggestion.
Learn to say no
iStock/fotostorm Be realistic about how long a project will take you and consider other obligations in your life. Before responding to other people’s requests for your time and energy, take a minute to really consider if you have enough bandwidth to fulfill it. If you don’t, it is okay to say no. “Taking on too much often causes us to rush through our work. If you’re not comfortable saying ‘no’ to others, practice saying ‘no’ with a friend or colleague. Being able to say ‘no’ to others will help lighten your schedule,” Dr. Marsden says.
iStock/fotostorm Little breaks, even just five minutes, throughout your day can help recharge your brain and even improve your productivity, according to a recent Cornell study. Giving your mind the opportunity to wander and process the events of the day in real time can also help you recalibrate if you’ve been getting off-track.