Feeling Pressured? ‘Time Shift’ Your Perceptions

What are you to do when you feel rushed, too much to do, not enough time? These feelings of time pressure can create mental scatteredness, as well as internal pressure: a raw or gnawing feeling in your gut, knots in your stomach, and a feeling of all-consuming alarm or dread.

A common lament in the business world, at school and around the house is: “If only I had more time.” We’re afraid to step back, even for a moment, out of fear of falling further behind. It can safely be argued that collectively we are overwhelmed by the pressures of time now more than at any other point in history. The sense that there’s never enough time is a major energy drain and can leave us feeling inadequate, nervous and hopeless, adversely affecting our health and well-being. Will the wheels of time simply roll on until we are so far behind we can never catch up?

Time Shifting

What if you could somehow shift time in your favor, gather up a few moments here, an hour there and use it any way you like? Would you be willing? Of course you would. And you can. Why, it would almost be like stealing time, and yet not really, for it is time that is already yours, there for the gaining, or more precisely, there for not losing.

Time shifting is not some concept borne of science fiction or tales of the future. It is a simple process in which time is saved and gained as you change your perceptions of it. Recall any situation that elicited a negative response from you and consider how much time you spent entwined in that response: a minute, five minutes, an hour, or was there one in which you threw up your hands and said, “That’s it. I’m outta here!” and the rest of that day was spent wallowing in your response. What if you had stepped back immediately and told yourself, “OK, it happened, but I won’t dwell on it”? How much time would you have saved then? How much would you have saved in the past year?

The article Time Is What We Make of It covers a research study done by Case Western Reserve where researchers demonstrated that perception of time pressure impairs performance. “Research has shown that it’s not necessarily the time pressure, but it’s the perception of that time pressure that affects you,” says Michael DeDonno, a doctoral student in psychology at Case Western Reserve University. “If you feel you don’t have enough time to do something, it’s going to affect you.” Science Daily says, “The research study also shows that our minds translate complexity and effort into time: a demanding task requires more time to complete, so its completion must be farther off.”

A Time Shifting Tip:

When you start feeling time pressure, take a few minutes to try these simple steps adapted from the Attitude Breathing® tool.

  • Focus on your heart as you breathe in. Focus on your solar plexus as you breathe out.
  • Concentrate on a positive feeling or attitude as you breathe.
  • Lock in this feeling.

Do you want to rewire yourself to change your internal state and reshape your perception of time? Give this tool a try. When you identify and admit unwanted feelings such as anxiety, tension, anger, worry and sadness, it’s much easier to neutralize and release them. This tool helps you remove the intensity of negative emotions, ease them out and experience more good feelings such as joy, compassion and vitality. This tool can help you change your feelings and perceptions and give you a new sense that you have the time you need. Positive feelings will replace feelings of hopeless ones. You will feel more relaxed and experience greater enjoyment at work and play.

If you slip back into old habits, appreciate yourself for noticing that you did, because that’s a more efficient use of your energy than feeling bad. Then make genuine attempts to recall and appreciate the original insight and renew your efforts. If you are having difficulty locking in that feeling of time shifting, read an in-depth article on how to sustain your positives changes: Anchor Your Insights in Four Steps for Sustained Positive Change.


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Image credit: sterlic via Flickr


Siyus Copetallus
Siyus C3 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Naomi Dreyer
Naomi Dreyer3 years ago

Not sure I understand

Jim Ven
Jim Ven3 years ago

thanks for the article.

Quanta Kiran
Quanta Kiran3 years ago


Danuta Watola
Danuta W3 years ago

Thanks so much for sharing

Elena Poensgen
Elena Poensgen3 years ago

Thank you

Marie W.
Marie W3 years ago

Too many clocks.

Linda B.
Linda Behnejad3 years ago

Thank you

Teresa W.
Teresa W3 years ago

Yes, Dimitris!

Janet B.
Janet B3 years ago