Do you feel like time is moving extra fast at the moment? As far as I am concerned it's like it has taken a bit old snort of psuedoephedrine and it's moving ten times faster than usual.
Excuse me whilst I adopt an old cronies voice and say "I remember back in the old days when hours felt like days and days felt like weeks'.
It's true though.
Once upon a time I was moaning how it was soooo long until my birthday, how school went for like forEVER and the kettle takes the longest time in the world to boil.
These days I'm all 'holy shitballs, it's school pick up time already?'
I can't seem to go to the toilet, put a load of washing on and answer an email before the kettle is screaming at me like a wild banshee and as for birthdays... well those darn things come around far too quickly!
I have come to the conclusion that either I'm the one snorting the pseudoephedrine or time really is moving quickly. Given the fact I am anti chemical consumption, I can only assume the latter.
Yesterday I was looking through some of my old photos on instagram and I stumbled upon one with my desk clock in it. I glanced at the very same clock on my desk and surprisingly noticed that the time on the clock was exactly the same time as it was in the photo.
A totally freaky coincidence?
The batteries had clearly stopped in my clock at least two months ago and I hadn't even noticed.
Time had stood still... literally, for the past two months anyway and yet here I am moaning about how fast it seems to be going.
Now obviously we can't go around taking the batteries out of all of the clocks in our life and pretending like time doesnt exist... can we? No, and I am sort of sane enough to realise that I am the one in a hurry these days and it got me to thinking about how I could possibly make time at least seem like it is slowing down a little.
A couple of hours of reading later (I lost track of time bada boom) I had devised a list of ways I can focus on mentally slow down time.
1. Do less.
The most obvious reason for the illusion of time speeding up is because we tend to cram so much into every day.
So many of us are always rushing from A to B and so is it any wonder we feel like we have no time?
When you sit and watch whilst you wait for the kettle to boil, it takes forever right? So there lies the answer, do less and spend more time focusing on the empty gaps between.
Heck, sit and actually wait for the kettle boil every once in a while because it is one sure fire way to make seconds feel like eternity.
2. Limit the multitasking.
Now this actually goes against everything I have trained myself into believing since I became a mum; the more things I can do at once, the more productive I am.
It's a useful tool for us busy parents who have lists to get through, but how much are we missing from every moment because we are too busy juggling stuff?
One day a week, just one cause ... well you know we have to start gently and all that, make a promise to ourselves that we will focus on one thing at a time. Just one job at a time with full attention and if we find ourselves waiting for an appointment or at sport or school pick up - we need to suck it up and just wait and do nothing whilst we are waiting other than breathe.
3. Change the routine
Doing things differently forces us to focus more and the more focussed we are then the more we take notice of each minute as it ticks by.
Routine by nature is designed to help us engage our autopilot mode and autopilot is the worst possible mindset to be in if we want to take more notice of what is going on around us.
Have you ever driven home from somewhere and then when you arrive home you kind of go "I don't remember actually driving here"?
I have and usually it's because I have been focussed on what I need to do when I get home and what to cook for dinner and yada yada and apart from being a scary thing cause helloooo I was DRIVING, it is also a shame that I didn't even notice the time as it passed.
Taking a different route home will make us focus more on where we are going and therefore we can't help but be more in the moment.
Making something new for dinner and trying a new hobby could work too and if you are a runner or you like to walk, try taking a different path. We need to do anything and I mean anything to get us out of autopilot.
4. Do a 10 minute body scan
I have been doing this one for a while now - usually when I go to sleep at night. I focus on each of my senses, slow my breathing down and then starting from my head I concentrate on relaxing every muscle as I mentally move down my body. My eyes, my mouth, my shoulders, hands and feet. It is amazing how tense we are and we don't even realise it until we actually focus on our various body parts and realise we are tensing them.
5. Soak in the bath
The key here is to not take into the bathroom with us. No phone, no magazines or a books. Take nothing in with us and do nothing but sit in the warm water, close our eyes and just listen to the sounds around us.
6. Switch off
I don't know about you, but there have been so many times that Carl or the kids or a friend have told me something and I mustn't have heard them because I am busy looking at the computer or playing Candy Crush on my phone (yes I still play - level 863 to be precise). Then when something happens I go and get all shitty and moan "WHY didn't you tell me?" and then they get even shittier and roll their eyes into the back of their head and say "I DID".
On top of that I have lost countless hours 'just quickly checking' something on line and ending up googling things like 'how to rewire a lamp' and ending up on some page that is teaching me 'how to turn a shipping container into an outdoor cabana'.
Electronics and the internet - a guaranteed way to lose time.
7. Practice Mindfulness
Buddhify and Head Space to help me.
OK so maybe we can't actually slow time down given it is a force of nature and something man cannot control, but we sure as hell can change our perception of time and make it appear like it is moving more slowly... and possibly even without relying on dead batteries in our desk clocks.
Do you feel like time is on speed these days?
How you do you try and slow it down?
Do you practice mindfulness? Any other apps we should know about?