Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Einstein a go go

I thought I would share something I rediscovered this week. Something that is guaranteed to reduce stress and it's so easy to do.

I was not best pleased last week when I found that major road works were starting just outside my work place. They are unavoidable and will take about 6 months to complete. I mostly work flexi hours so not too much trouble most of the time as I can miss most of the worst commuter traffic and hence my involvement in en masse queuing is minimised. Except that this week I am on a Systems Engineering course which is forcing me to join the other commuter lemmings due to it's start and finish times. Lovely. Life is far too short to spend in traffic jams. Even with your new CD playing and sending out happy vibes that make you sing along and experience quizzical looks from other drivers.

Anyway, like a good project manager I planned ahead and allowed more time for my journey. A lot more time which was just as well as it took me 3 times the amount of time for my journey. But here's the thing. I did not freak out. I did not get anxious. I did not rant at the other traffic. I just sang along to my CD making a complete arse of myself and I didn't care because I had time. Voila! Just like that I had rediscovered something I already knew. Allow enough time to do the task and then a little bit on top.

It's amazing how less stressed I felt! By allowing myself time I took the pressure off. By taking the pressure off, I was less stressed. As I was less stressed I relaxed and even enjoyed my journey into work. Because I was relaxed I didn't get all ranty when the other drivers wouldn't let me over, I didn't get ranty when someone cut me up and didn't indicate, I could afford to let other people out of junctions because I didn't feel time was against me and I gave some people a good laugh watching me sing. Simple.

I think it can be easy to put undue pressure on ourselves in this fast paced high pressure environment most of us live in. There is always lots to do and never enough time to do it. The thing is though, that by taking the pressure off myself at the start of the day I arrive at work in a better frame of mind, the rest of the day just flows better and somehow I have more time. Einstein was right, time is relative after all! I know this is overly simplistic and it's not always possible to build in more time. Sometimes things work against us. But the nice thing is that I expected this week to be a nightmare seeing as I had to navigate the roadworks at the worse possible time, and I have been pleasantly surprised. Now, how often does that happen?

17 comments:

utenzi said...

Sounds like smart advice, BK. I try to give myself enough time too---but sometimes I give in to the temptation to wash a few dishes before I scoot out the door and then I have to worry about making the bus.

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

It does not happen nearly enough, my friend. Not nearly enough.

btw, susan at west of mars dot com. *wink*

kenju said...

The only time I worry about being late for something is when I can't let anyone know in advance. Your remedy sounds like a good one!

pink dogwood said...

allow yourself sufficient time and then some - what great wisdom.

btw, regarding traffic - have you ever tried books on tape/CD? I am addicted to them. Currently I am listening to Dreams from my father by Obama (read by the author himself). This morning there was an accident on the beltway and it took me twice as long to get to work. I arrived at work calm and happy that I got to listen to my book longer :)

Bob-kat said...

Kenju - I hate that too! Unfortunately sometimes I have to get to work in time for early meetings and that always adds pressure!

Pink Dogwood - What a great idea :)

Sleepypete said...

Yesterday morning I left the house 10 minutes earlier than usual ...

And I got in at work at the same time ! Time definitely works different some days.

Oh - Radio 5 is good on the way home. The byplay between Peter "Total Cynic" Allen and the person they have him on with (for some inexplicable reason I cannot remember the lady's name) usually manages to break me out of Traffic Muttering moods :-)

R. Sherman said...

Anyway, like a good project manager I planned ahead and allowed more time for my journey.

My engineer father was the same way, having learned those lessons as a kid, when one always built an extra hour into any trip because of the inevitable flat tire on the Model T.

Cheers.

Melody said...

Good thinking BK.

When we livedi n FNQ, we had roadworks that went on and on (& on & on) for a good 5-6 months, that was between my house and my favourite supermarket. Well, I used to put up with the roadworks (if I could be bothered) by making sure I had some good tunes in the car and making sure (on returning home from the supermarket) I had at least some supplies to get Monet and I through the waiting.

Anil P said...

Having enough time on hand is a good way to reduce stress. I spend long hours commuting to office and back in rush hour traffic and am witness to regular 'snapping' of co-passnegers in the crowded trains where one can barely breathe at times.

Some folks read prayer books at the time, completely oblivious to the jostling, others listen to music, yet others are busy playing games on their mobiles.

Protege said...

Hi, came over from written.inc.;)
What a nice blog, very interesting and entertaining.
I agree; time is very relative. We are either out of it or do not know what to do with. But one thing is certain; it doesn't stop and waits for no one.;))
Glad you fond yourself having enough of it though; it never happens to me when I drive to work.;)

Nikki-ann said...

I was a few minutes late for work this morning due to the person in front of me not willing to fight through the traffic. There was a number of opportunities for them to turn out from the junction, but instead they sat there for a good 5-10 minutes, which is a lifetime when you live in the country!

Monica Hamburg said...

Really good advice, BobKat! I sometimes try to do things like that myself, because starting my day peeved is not a good thing. I have to remember to give myself plenty of time more often.

P.S. Netchick sent me

David said...

some of the new players have trouble finding their cyber balance, give them time.

craziequeen said...

Those roadworks are making drivers do silly things.....

Getting in before 0730 means I miss most of the morning traffic and I see long months of working late to miss the afternoon jam... :-(
As always - music helps!

I came here to say sorry you got skipped before - we love you!

cq

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

What a great solution to a very annoying thing! More time and Good Music! I would love to know what the music was that you were singing along with...? Sounds like you had a truly wonderful time, my dear, and under those previously stressful circumstances..THAT is FABULOUS!

rashbre said...

I agree its always good to plan to be a bit early. I usually try to do the same. London is a great compensator here because if I use 'London planning times' pretty much anywhere else, then I can usually be assured of a good safety margin.

I like the idea of the soundtrack too. Sometimes good to pick one to suit the circumstance.

Here this time via NetChick - Hiya!

Hannah said...

I agree, planning ahead is definitely a good idea!

P.S. Tanya sent me! :)