Larry Dossey, M.D., author of Space, Time & Medicine, discusses how stress-related diseases, such as: high blood pressure, heart disease, and depression are all expressions of what he calls, “hurry sickness.” Hurry sickness happens when our over concern for the passing of time, the external clocks, cause our internal clocks to move faster and faster. For example, a favorite story we tell at our Cybernetix Medical Institute is about a grandmother in India. This grandmother would become so impatient while traveling in trains that she’d run inside the train’s compartments in order to speed up the process.
Although most of us don’t run through trains in response to today’s pressure of accelerated time—many of us do sit and speed up our internal physiology (such as racing our hearts). By internally speeding up, we think we’ll get the job done faster. Unfortunately, this “internal racing” doesn’t increase productivity; it only increases stress arousal. And as you’ll come to understand from reading this guidebook, chronic stress arousal often delivers us to that undesirable final destination of “hurry sickness.” Hurry sickness comes from the human doing alienating the human being. Alvin Toffler discusses in Future Shock, how time is no longer open-ended. To many people, time has become close-ended. For example, twenty-five years ago, physicians used to do open-ended appointments or “rapport visits.” By contrast, today’s physicians are inundated with paperwork regarding their examinations of patients and many are now forced to do closed-ended visits. In fact, the filling out of the required paperwork related to the patient’s examination may only allow physicians to spend 5-10 minutes with each patient.
In this Information Age, with little time for many physicians to have “rapport visits,” unfortunately, these closed-ended examinations have become—“report visits.” Paradoxically, if you want “fast relief” from time pressure, you have to “slow down” from the inside out. And the good news is, balanced time management can assist you in reversing stress and burnout by increasing your internal, as well as, your external control.