Time SicknessAUTHOR: Francisco Sáez
“Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days.” ~ Zig Ziglar
Larry Dossey is an American author and physician whose publications are somewhat controversial because of the importance he gives, in the field of medicine, to spiritual issues that have little to do with science. In 1982, Dossey coined the term “time sickness” to define the belief that many people have about the fact that time is always slipping away, that there is never enough of it, and that we must go faster and faster to keep up.
Clearly, time management is a subject of great concern in our society, as evidenced by the 500 million Google results generated by searching the phrase “time management”. Sometimes this concern with time or, rather, the life style that results from being constantly struggling against the clock, ends up causing us real physical problems, such as stress, anxiety, insomnia, exhaustion…
Schedules, agendas, deadlines and the speed at which we must do our work contaminate all aspects of our life. Our meetings with our friends are growing rarer and shorter. The feeling that time flies makes us impatient, turning us into people who cannot listen or enjoy the present moment.
The cult of speed not only affects our health, it also makes us more unhappy and less productive. But it turns out that we can slow down and also be more productive because of it. In order to do that, we should stop worrying so much about time and instead learn to better manage our attention focus. Making our own decisions about what we should be doing at every moment of our life puts us behind the wheel.
This is the reason why we advocate smart methods of self management, such as GTD. Nothing about managing time. It is about knowing our commitments, clarifying them and making decisions about them. In a humanized and intelligent way, and in balance with all our responsibility areas: work, family life, leisure, health, well-being, finance, personal development, etc.
It’s not easy, but we must change our relationship with time. Time is not the enemy, it’s the very essence of life, and we must learn to live with it and even enjoy it.
Instead of living each second as if it were your last one, instead of looking at the clock with disapproval whenever things are not done “at their moment”, relax and take things in a more calm manner.
Enjoy some good slow food. Enjoy a good book. Turn off the phone and enjoy the pleasure of being with your friends, your family or your significant other. Enjoy a job well done, quietly but with passion and precision. Stop fighting with your time. Enjoy it.