When doing keeps us from being

We are in a constant rush. Countless meetings and deadlines hold us back from getting things done. How can we deal with stress and time pressure. Here are five suggestions ...

We are obsessed with time. In our private lives and even more so in business. We are obsessed with time. In our private lives and even more so in business. Time is always short, time is always running and we frantically try to catch up with it. In business, deadlines and time frames establish parameters, but often not in a good and supportive way. Our to-do lists are getting longer and longer - and we see no chance that they ever might be completed and closed. So how do we want to deal with deadlines as a way to manage ourselves and our activities? 


Tasks should take as long as they need to take. Most people given a certain timeframe to complete a task will instinctively adjust their effort so it actually meets the given timeframe – even if it shouldn’t. On the other side there is no need for unnecessary urgency. While we usually want to do everything as quickly and effectively as we can, we recognize that tasks need the time they need. We all know that if we push to hard on a deadline, the quality of the outcome is not as good as it could be and should be. Grass doesn’t grow faster when we pull on it.


Often we allow other people or circumstances to impose unhealthy timeframes on us; or we impose unhealthy deadlines on others. By doing so we tremendously limit others and ourselves: Nobody can be creative and inspire others if he or she is living under the dangling sword of breathtaking deadlines. Whatever we do, we want to do it with a clear and focused mind. We want to listen and get heard.  


Everything what has been done, is complete. When we finish the work of a day we often only look at the tasks that have not been done. We prepare the to-do lists for the next day and forget to pay tribute to the work we have just completed. Storming from one peak to the next without taking a pause leaves us breathless. Being aware what we have accomplished makes us confident, motivates us and helps us to take pride and happiness in our work.


If every task gets prioritized with a red flag, we do not need to prioritize at all. Before entering into a blind execution mode we want to take a breath feel our heartbeat and mindfully ask ourself: what is important in this situation, what is really important to me, what is really important for others? And regardless of all our obligations, mandates and time schedules we should never forget that our most important timeline is our lifetime. Listening to the ticking clock of mortality will help us to prioritize wisely.


Our life is now. The only time that is real is this very moment. There is no past. There is no future. Often we get lost in our past and cannot overcome the pain we have suffered, or we hang on to our successes and hero stories of old days. Always being one step ahead and having our heads in the clouds of our fears, future plans and things to come creates a distance to the very moment we are living in. Being present we experience the world as it is and we can connect to our self. Being present helps us to get in resonance with ourselves and our environment, our past and our future. In resonance we live the fullness of our life in every moment.


If we can choose most of us would prefer to live and work by lifelines not by deadlines. We want to fully fill out time and recognize it for what it is to us: our life. 

Author: Dr. Torsten Breden