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.
Do less at once
iStock/Rawpixel-Ltd Dr. Dow also suggests trading in multitasking for strategic “doing.” “Hurriers think they’re saving time while multitasking, and this may be true when you’re doing two very simple things like stapling a stack of papers while you’re watching TV, he says. But brain scans show that what you really do when you multitask is rapid single-tasking, and, in doing so, you lose time and efficiency by switching back and forth. “This is especially true when you are doing something more complex like working on a spreadsheet while having an important conversation with your significant other,” he says. “Do one thing at a time, and you’ll end up saving time. The more time you save, the less you need to hurry.”
Build in space between appointments
iStock/Choreograph Therapist Mallory Grimste says that when she first opened her therapy practice, she made the awful mistake of scheduling six clients back-to back, all in a row. “Thankfully my clients were kind and understanding when I needed to step out between appointments to use the bathroom or sneak a quick snack,” she says. Her advice: Schedule time for bathroom, lunch, and reset breaks. “Just because you have space in your schedule, does not mean it needs to be filled with work, appointments, or other obligations.” Also, feel free to book nothing on your calendar—an hour to literally do nothing.