Mentally tell yourself to slow down
iStock/Andy-Nowack This may seem counterintuitive to people who are always in a hurry, but it may help you get more accomplished. “Often, people are rushing around working on tasks and not fully completing any of them. They’re off to the races with the next task before the last one was completed,” Dr. Guttman says. “As the day wears on, they become more hassled, feeling like they really can’t cross anything off the list because nothing is technically fully completed.”
Use a timer for everything
iStock/fstop123 “If you tend to take too long in the shower, time it. Set a timer to remind you that it’s time to leave the house to go to a meeting, or it’s time to get off social media and get back to work,” says Dr. Guttman. She suggests making a plan to work for a set number of hours and then put on a timer to go on social media as a means of self-reinforcement for another set amount of time. When the timer goes off, hold yourself accountable. Go back to work for another set amount of time, and self-reinforce again with social media for a job well done. “You will feel better for having gotten more accomplished and having held yourself to a higher standard, and most people feel proud for spending less time on social media each day,” Dr. Guttman says.
Meditate on your tasks
iStock/Olgaorly Mike Dow, PsyD, a psychotherapist, author, and television personality in Los Angeles, knows that most of us would love an extra hour or two to hit a meditation or yoga class, but people who hurry tend to have very little “extra time.” That’s why he suggests mindfully meditating while you do everyday tasks—by simply tuning in to the present moment. “Pay attention to all of your five senses while you’re engaged in an activity. Instead of eating while checking your email or worrying, just eat. When you shower, shower. Same goes for walking, washing dishes, or even making love,” he says. Chances are, if you’re focusing on what’s in front of you, you’ll feel calmer and more able to handle all of your other tasks—and you’ll likely get them done faster if you don’t stop and start or get distracted.