“Wake up Ali, you are getting late for breakfast. Come on, you should have freshened up by now,” mum yelled.

Ali wakes up every morning after listening to his mum’s constant scolding. And after restlessly moving from one side to the other on the bed, Ali finally gets up. With his mother rushing to get him ready quickly, he hardly has time to gulp down some milk before he hears the horn of his van and runs out saying goodbye to his mum.

Had Ali woken up on time, he wouldn’t have to take the stress of rushing and leaving without his breakfast.

Our everyday life seems to pass in a rush. The state of urgency is not limited to adults, even youngsters now seem to be always in a hurry. Isn’t it? Always rushing for something, whether there is a reason behind it or not.

You and I are accustomed to doing things in urgency — for instance, we eat or drink in a rush, rush to get everywhere while constantly saying that there is little time left.

If it’s not us saying this, then our parents or peers say that, “It’s late, hurry up!” We listen to this phrase every day and a good number of times. So, what’s going on? Why are we always in a hurry?

There are many excuses for every person who is doing things in a rush, but most of the time, two reasons remain persistent — one, we want to be efficient. We think we will be judged as inefficient by others if we don’t show our best, or if we took longer than what others think it should have taken.

Second, we procrastinate and wait till the last minute to do things and we run out of time and, thus, try to manage everything in a hurry.

Sadly, many of you would agree with me that each task we complete in a hurry, in order to start a new one, is mostly not up to the marks as we expect. We are seldom satisfied with the outcome, isn’t it? We never think of the result which could have been different if we hadn’t had to rush.

I have been noticing lately that people haste just to do things in haste. Perhaps this is the way we have developed our attitude towards life that we always rush to get things done, hurry to get home, buy things in haste, rush to school, college or university, as if saving those couple of minutes will bring the treasures of the world to us.

In addition, people speed up to reach their destination on time. And this is often because people do not start off on time when they are travelling or commuting, or it may be also because driving fast becomes a habit. Get ready 10-20 minutes before the time you generally start to commute somewhere so that you have more time to reach your destination rather having the car driven fast.

My intention is not to make you do things slowly, but I want to make you realise that haste takes away all the pleasure and satisfaction from our life or, let’s say, from that very moment.

Suppose there is an assignment that you have to submit within a week, a class you are going to attend, or a get-together you are invited to. So instead of getting to the get-together late, preparing the assignment in haste and running towards your class in a hurry, it is better to prepare for each and everything before time and stop thinking there is still time left.

Take note of yourself

If you haven’t noticed that you are rushing to get things done, ask yourself, do you do your homework in a hurry so that you can go out and play with your friends? Or do a house chore quickly so as to do something else after that? Did the first task that you finished give you a sense of satisfaction or dissatisfaction? If you agree to the former it’s good, but if you accept the latter, it’s time to bring some change in your attitude because rushing to reach a goal, even before you are ready to do it, only leaves you frustrated.

Do you multitask or just mess up?

If you are good at multitasking, then you are lucky. But not everyone is good at it. Many of us think we can multitask, and we don’t accept the fact that one cannot easily do two or three things simultaneously, let alone ‘perfectly’. And even if we do so by pressuring ourselves, the result will be nothing but a mess of things, or maybe a useless result!

Life is not a race

As humans, we feel left behind if we don’t show our performance to be very good, if not outstanding. So in order to stand out, we forget our pace and think we will be run down if we slow down. Deep inside, we have a fear of other people’s judgment and their perception of us. Therefore, we constantly try to give a good performance to get other people’s approval.

This should be stopped right away. You are the master of your time and life. You don’t have to perform well to get appreciation from others. Whatever you do, enjoy the moment, enjoy the task and never think of doing anything in haste to get appreciation.

Do things at their pace, your own way. If a task is taking half of your day, give it. That’s the amount of time it requires. Don’t leave it for some other thing, because that will only give you stress.

Enjoy the moment

Oftentimes, it is the mismanagement of time in performing a task which affects everything, just like a chain reaction. For instance, no matter how sleepy you are, you should get up the moment your mother wakes you up or the alarm rings, and think no more. If you keep getting up in the morning when you should, within a couple of days you will start sleeping early and getting up fresh on

time. This will gradually lead to you being stress free and not having to rush, because then you can manage your work and routine accordingly.

Remember doing things in a hurry takes away all the good moments, the feelings and sense of satisfaction from your life. You can be so rushed up in doing something that you do not take in all the experiences that would have made you enjoy what you were doing.

Slow down a bit

Indulging in everything and believing that you shouldn’t waste your time by grabbing every opportunity that comes your way is not wise; it feels more like there is an invisible race going and you have to beat everyone in that race.

We have forgotten the true meaning of time, how to spend it wisely and not in a hurry. We have lost our peace of mind — the moments of real happiness. The sad fact is that we don’t understand the worth of what we have.

Even though it may seem like we have less time than ever, it’s just a matter of time management and developing the right habits. With a few tweaks here and there, we can save time and don’t have to hurry any more in anything — so no panic and stress either.

Kids, it’s time to track your habits and stop rushing through your life. Don’t rush, but appreciate the moments at school, in your class, home or outside. Do everything, but not in a hurry … everything is just as important as any other thing.

Published in Dawn, Young World, February 27th, 2021

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