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What Time Pressure Costs Us

How do you feel about the time pressure of this impatient world we live in?

Personally, I hate it, yet I often feel that slow is “wrong”.

Slow means getting run off the road by someone faster.

Slow means “missing the boat” because you can only miss it by being slow.

The fast pace of our society has a life of its own. It feels like “reality” and when we drop out of the high speed movement of our economic culture it can seem like a form of death.

But if you look at it another way, our fast paced system can feel like a form of death as well.

It seems like a catch-22.

What Time Pressure Costs Us

When you have to work fast, in my experience you also have to focus. Focus is great, but under conditions of pressure, that focus becomes narrowed to whatever will enable us to create a quick result and move on to the next action or decision.

Essentially the demand for speed forces us to be short-sighted.

There is a paradox in this: being short-sighted and fast forces us to make a lot of changes, but it also forces us to seek solutions that are “accessible”, that in effect, keep us where we are, that are not really innovative or difficult. So the project that takes longer, the relationship that requires cultivation – these things often do not happen.

What does happen is actions, decision, and people that fit our time constraints but not necessarily our needs. This is one of the reasons we feel we are in a rat race or running fast on a treadmill going nowhere. Time pressure forces us into choices that keep us stuck.

The Bigger Loss

Time pressure costs us more than we realize. While we are getting through the day, the kinds of connections, moments and observations that come with engaging with each moment often elude us. We are too busy.

There are many big consequences of time pressure:

  • we live in our heads. We make decisions based on what is expedient. Our bodies and hearts do not get a voice in what we are doing. The system, after all, has its prerogatives and its demands which must be honored.
  • we lose the mind-body connection which is an important foundation of living and also of our health. Everything in our lives and experience is processed in our minds AND bodies. There is no escape. So when we live in our heads, we do not process all of our feelings through our bodies and become stuck and sick. Our bodies feel dragged down and we feel that we are dragging them along with us rather than living fully from them.
  • we are unable to really connect. Do you ever wonder why ideology is so entrenched? When people live in their heads and go too fast, they do not have time for human connection. So they relate from political ideas or entertainments or recreational activities but not usually to each other.
  • we lose our creativity. A fast time-based system particularly a mechanistic one prefers continuity and consistency to creativity. Novelty and some innovation that serves the system are allowed but not the full-bodied creativity of an awake human being.
  • we lose our part and place in the universe. We are creative human beings. So when we cannot rock the boat by being creative then we lose our basic nature to a cultural and economic construct.
  • we lose our common ground because we are each of us competing cogs in a machine rather than collaborating co-creators of our world, a way of thinking that honors us better.

Letting Go Of Time Pressure

Letting go of time pressure is hard to do. Slowing down can seem like a luxury.

However, particularly for highly sensitive people it is a necessity because it is the only way we can give rein to our creative natures. It is also the only way we can minimize the stress that comes from being highly sensitive and taking in all of the stimulus that we take in.

So embrace the eternal present! Luxuriate in it and honor your creative talents for the benefit of all.

About Maria Hill

Maria Hill is the founder of Sensitive Evolution and Sensitive Evolution Radio. She is the author of The Emerging Sensitive: A Guide For Finding Your Place In The World as well as numerous courses for sensitives including The Emerging Sensitive Course using frameworks to help sensitive people master their sensitivity and turn it into the asset it can be. They can be found here. She is a long time meditator, reiki master, a student of alternative health and Ayurveda. Maria is also an abstract painter whose portfolio can be found at Infinite Shape and also very interested in animal and human rights and the environment.

10 Comments

  1. Edward Bonapartian on April 15, 2014 at 8:03 pm

    Maria,
    Great topic. I like how you point out that when we live in our heads our bodies and hearts do not get a say in what we are doing. For too many of us, a fast paced life allows the harsh voice of ego (similar to the voice a strict parent) to take over while the healing voice of our intuition takes a back seat.

    • Maria on April 16, 2014 at 7:23 am

      Thanks, Edward!

      Intuition requires attention and time. The speed of our ego based world is a way to bypass our natural intelligence as you point out.

      All the best,
      Maria



  2. Jane Holle on January 14, 2015 at 7:55 am

    Thanks for writing this. It has put words to how I have been feeling. Very well put!

    • Maria Hill on January 14, 2015 at 8:02 am

      Thanks, Jane. I am glad you liked it. Impatience hurts us in so many ways.

      All the best,
      Maria



  3. Teresa on January 15, 2015 at 8:08 am

    Thank you for expressing this so well. I’ve thought a lot about this topic lately. I wholeheartedly agree that time stress inhibits our ability to be creative and innovative, which is not only inefficient ultimately, but it also takes the joy out of work and life. I hope our society starts to take heed to your sentiments.

    • Maria Hill on January 15, 2015 at 8:20 am

      Hi Teresa,

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your perspective. It is amazing to me how many demands get placed on our time and how much it gets consumed like it is a limitless resource which it is not. So often the important things do not get taken care of so no matter how productive you are it can feel unsatisfying.

      All the best,
      Maria



  4. Heather on October 21, 2015 at 10:22 pm

    I agree 110% with this article. I have been thinking about this subject alot lately. …so much pressure to do everything/ everyday /all the time. Leaving people mentally exhausted as well as physically.. no time to release and settle into your true nature. .
    Some may say make time..you cannot simply squeeze time and milk creativity.
    True freedom delivers true expression /true creativity.

    • Maria Hill on October 22, 2015 at 6:57 am

      Thanks, Heather!

      I agree with you that time pressure hurts creativity. It makes it hard for us to be present so that we can bring our full attention to what we are doing. Fragmented, harried people are not very creative.

      Maria



  5. Steve on October 22, 2015 at 6:58 pm

    Excellent!!

  6. Lu on October 26, 2015 at 11:24 am

    Excellent article! I recently left my job because my ex boss basically worked all the time,and expected everyone else to do the same. It was a terrible experience because I always felt as if I was never doing enough, and that I was slowing the team down. Because of my HSP nature I would run out of steam quickly and brutally fatigue almost always,and he still would not be satisfied. Eventually I said enough is enough,and left the madness. It’s so unfortunate our society wants to work everyone to their early graves. Time and creativity are very precious resources,and I believe achieving a balance of being creative,working diligently,and getting enough rest (especially important for HSPs) is absolutely possible.

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