Ever had one of those days where you’re feeling so rushed that every single minute counts?
Like if the recipe says it takes 30 minutes but it takes 43 so you lose your shiz because you simply don’t have 13 minutes to spare?
Or like when you HAVE to be the first to arrive at the next meeting to greet the visiting corporate president form Latin America but you get stuck in a roundabout behind some bonehead who has evidently never seen a roundabout before and you sit there losing minutes waiting for, what, a stoplight? A traffic cop?
Your blood boils.
You make up the time going 30 over the limit but the damage is done because you’re so frazzled when you get there that you greet the wrong Latino a little too warmly. (He doesn’t seem to mind).
Yes, those minutes are super important.
The trickiest part of this is not just being late or falling behind, but showing up less than you’d planned to. Like accidentally showing a side of you that isn’t really representative of you.
Of course, we could all just do less stuff and have oodles of time to get from A to B. But, in the meantime, while we’re still figuring out how to do that, there’s this:
We can never control all the factors at play.
It’s a terrifying (and liberating!) thought.
We can’t control how others perceive us. We can’t control the weather or boneheads at roundabouts.
We can only control ourselves.
We have full authority over our own thoughts, words, and actions. (Yay! An entire arena to be our control-freaky selves! Phew. That needed an outlet).
I like the way Byron Katie says it:
There’s only ever 3 areas of business: mine, yours, and God’s.
I’m in charge of my side of the street, and that’s it.
I don’t control someone else’s side of the street. They’re in charge of that. We can’t control what someone else thinks or feels (or how they react, or what they think of us, even if we can’t stand it).
And the third area of business is anything that no one person controls, like the weather or, if you’ll get famous. We can call that third domain “life’s” area, or “God’s”, or “the Universe’s”, or “reality’s”, whatever suits you.
The point is, we waste energy (and minutes!!) trying to control things outside of our area of business.
We can save time and energy by re-centering in our own area of control each time we see we’re getting swept up into trying to control the things in one of the other two areas of business.
So next time you get stuck at the roundabout, know, at that moment, you’re inside someone else’s area of business. Your area of business at that moment is in how you respond to the inconvenience. That, you can control.
It’s ok to cut yourself a break for the things that are outside of your control.
It doesn’t make you a worse version of yourself because other factors waded in. Cutting yourself a break when that happens is a really healthy way to respond. It happens to all of us.
How are you losing minutes managing things outside of your area of business? What can you do to cut yourself a break?
Tell us about it in the comments below. <3