“Wow, I can’t get over how fast time moves these days.”
How often do you hear someone say that or something like it? How often do you say it yourself?
Usually it’s said among friends, when you do the math of how long it’s been since you’ve seen one another, or when you talk about how fast your kids are growing up, or when you lament how quickly you’re all aging. Seriously, didn't we all just graduate?
As a child, summers felt like they lasted for an eternity, and somehow the last decade has passed by faster than even a DeLorean could allow.
There are many interesting (and kind of depressing) theories of why we perceive time to move faster as we age, but the truth is we may never know the reason. Which means, we can’t fix it. Which means, we have to make the most of the time we have — no matter how fast it passes.
I’m realizing there is something that gets in my way of making the most of the precious 24 hours I have each day more than anything else. It’s not my daughter’s lengthy and involved bedtime routine (where we literally include all the characters from Pee-Wee’s Playhouse in her nightly prayers). It’s not Netflix. It’s not wine. It’s not even Facebook.
It’s me. Well, it's my brain. Because my name is Aubrey, and I’m an overthink-a-haulic.
Maybe you are, too? Do you debate over your answers on online quizzes like "Which Golden Girl Are You?" (No one wants to end up being Dorothy!) Do you regularly leave items in shopping carts in eCommerce sites all over the Internet? (What if there's an even better sale next week?) Do your Pro & Con lists have Pro & Con lists of their own? (You can never be too sure.)
Think (but don’t overthink) of how much of time is lost to your overthinking? How many hours have you spent in a decision-making spiral? How many meetings have you sat through where an entire group overanalyzed something so much everyone lost steam and the project fizzled out?
All that dithering and considering is counterproductive. You do it because you don’t want to make the wrong decision, but most of the time, even the wrong decision is better than no decision. (Except for LeBron James' The Decision.)
So take notice of all the little ways you overthink and how much time it takes up. Take back those hours. Take on more challenges. And get more done, even as your days go flying down the Autobahn.
Once you commit to changing your overthinking ways, there are a billion books, articles, and apps with zillions of tips, tricks, and hacks to be more productive — and at the top of that pile is commonsku’s Catherine Graham’s webinar From Frazzled to Focused, which is where I realized how much my time my overthinking was costing me.
What will you gain from turning off your overthinking brain?