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Spell It: How to stop rushing, especially when you don't need to

Do you find yourself rushing, and short of time – all the time?

Click start to play today’s Spell It, where we deliberately ‘halt’ and reassess how we’re spending our time.

Sometimes, we genuinely have to race against the clock, like when we’re trying to catch a flight. But other times, we’re hustling to try to finish every task on our checklist, even if it’s next to impossible.

According to a December 2023 report in the US-based psychology news website Psychology Today, when people feel pressed for time, they react to it by rushing so they can get things done sooner. But unlike the flight scenario, this behaviour isn’t warranted for many activities. Do we really need to race through the present? It’s likely we’re doing a disservice to our wellbeing, if so.

If you’re feeling slammed, and want to stop rushing, here are some tips to slow down, according to the Psychology Today report:

1. Prioritise

Not everything on your to-do list is urgent. Try to figure out which tasks need to be completed soon, and which ones can wait. Then, focus on the ones that need your immediate attention, and complete them.

2. Manage your time

Time management is key to getting everything done when it’s supposed to be done. If you have a big project due next month, for instance, work on it for about an hour every day, rather than rushing to finish it a few days before the deadline. Organising yourself with a calendar can help you divide big projects into smaller, more manageable chunks.

3. Be open about time restrictions

Sometimes, we end up taking on more tasks than we can handle. If you feel overwhelmed, that’s when the instinct to rush settles in. If possible, say ‘no’ to some tasks, and set boundaries when necessary.

4. Be mindful

It’s can be difficult to be patient when all we want to do is reach our goals. Practicing mindfulness can help you be in the moment, and understand all that’s happening around you, giving you a deeper appreciation of the process.

5. Expect the unexpected

Try to acknowledge the unknowns, such as traffic congestion on your way to an important meeting, or a medical emergency in your busiest week. Allowing extra time for items on your to-do list can help you avoid added stress caused by unexpected challenges. This way, you can still get your project done on time, without rushing.

6. Don’t multitask

Our brains are only able to process one thing at a time. So, unless your secondary task demands no real attention from you, it’s best to avoid multi-tasking.

7. Slow down

Consider slowing down and processing all the information you have, when working on a task. Hasty decisions can lead to regret in the long run.

Do you find yourself always in a rush? Play today’s Spell Itand tell us at games@gulfnews.com.

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