August 20, 2015

Do Less to Live More

“Hurry isn’t of the devil; It is the devil.” –Carl Jung My boss, Jeremy, has this quote written at the top of his white board in his office. Regardless of what he’s working on, he never erases it. So every...

“Hurry isn’t of the devil; It is the devil.”
–Carl Jung

My boss, Jeremy, has this quote written at the top of his white board in his office. Regardless of what he’s working on, he never erases it. So every time I’m in there, I notice it.

My first thought upon reading it is always, “Well that’s intense.” But then I always am amazed at the truth of it.

If you want to get literal for a second, scripture says that the Enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy. And anyone that’s ever been beaten down during a hard season of life knows how true that is. He steals your joy and peace, kills your confidence and momentum, and destroys your happiness and hope.

But how different is hurrying, really?

Hurrying takes the fun out of things.

You agree to 15 commitments and don’t enjoy one of them because you’re too busy rushing to and through them. Hurrying adds stress, worry, and anxiety to your life because you always feel like you’re coming from behind. Hurrying leads to carelessness, bad decisions and mistakes because you’re rushed and not thinking. Hurrying leads to overspending out of impulse, poor eating because you’re just trying to cram fast food in your mouth, and exhaustion because running that fast all of the time wears you out.

In all reality, hurrying is the devil.
It steals your joy and peace.
It kills your confidence and momentum.
It destroys your happiness and hope.

So what do we do? How do we get our joy, peace, confidence and hope back? How can we be present in the moment and not hurry past it? How can we refuse to rush?

The answer is simple to understand but difficult to do.

Stop doing so much.

That’s it. You’re in a rush because you try to do too much.

You happen to wake up 15 minutes early one day, and instead of taking your time to get ready, enjoy some coffee and leave a little early for work, you decide to try to clean the house—which leads to you rushing around again.

You have an extra ten minutes before you have to leave for your kid’s soccer game, and instead of taking your time to get them ready and make sure you have everything you need, you realize that you might be able to stop by the bank and still make it. So you shove your kids’ in the car and rush to make just one more stop.

One of your meetings gets out early, but instead of checking emails and catching up before the next one, you decide to try to crowbar in one more thing that leads to—you guessed it—rushing around again.

The only way we are going to beat the devil of hurry is to stop trying to do so much.

Give yourself more time than you need. If you need 15 minutes to get your family out the door, give yourself 30. If you need an hour to get ready, give yourself an hour and a half and actually—get this—enjoy yourself!

And stop cramming things in every free second that opens up. If you have time left over by some miracle, don’t immediately try to fill it with 19 other things because #1, they will not fit, and #2, you’re going to make yourself miserable trying to make them.

Instead, just take the gift of that precious free time. Soak it up. Enjoy it. Breathe. Play. Close your eyes. Tell your kids a story. Pray. Relax.

Whatever you do with those precious minutes, stop trying to cram things into them.

When you finally learn to do less, I think you’ll find you actually get to live more.

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Leave a Comment

  • HI Christy! Excellent post! I think its way too easy to get caught up in the “checklist” of life and forget to live. Thanks for the reminder!

  • Christina says:

    I have been working to make my life more like this, but I do still try to fit one more stop into my day here or there. Thanks for the great reminder. I’ll be more aware and prepared today!

    Greg McKoewen has a similar idea in Essentialism – The Disciplined Pursuit of Less. He suggests adding half whenever we plan how long something will take. For instance, if I think it will take me 20 minutes to get to an appointment, I should add half of that time to my estimate. That means I add 10 minutes to my estimate and leave a total of 30 minutes before I need to be there. I always think that I will be sitting around for ten extra minutes, but the reality is that I usually arrive only a couple minutes early with very little stress. I hope I explained that well.

  • Great post, Christy! I am usually guilty of cramming things in to every second that frees up! I did that a lot in my first year of marriage. If I saw an open date on the calendar, I would schedule something for my wife and I to do with other people. Before I knew it, our calendar got away from us and we found ourselves having no time for each other. Now, we set a boundary to schedule specific times and days in our calendar where we do nothing and/or have a date night. It’s helped so much! Thanks for the post!

  • Karen says:

    So true and so guilty! If I’m ready to leave the house for work by 7:20, then I’ll unload the dishwasher, dustmop the hardwood, put clothes in to wash, and then cram breakfast in. As usual, once I’m actually ready to leave for work, it’s 8:00, which makes me 15 minutes late. Now, it doesn’t really matter if I’m 15 minutes late unless I have an appointment, but I am trying to discipline myself to get there at the correct time.