The 365 Commitment

Dealing with Impatience

Krishnendu Chatterjee
Improve impatience with reduced choices and distractions.

So this week I decided to concentrate some time and focus on the concept of patience / impatience. I frequently read psychology journals and there was an article on this topic that intrigued me. Of course as life would have it, my week focused on impatience, I get sick. So now I am impatiently dealing with the fact that I am sick and need to take it easy for a few days and get better. This leads me to a conclusion that is helpful understanding how to deal with my bad self.

Impatience is natural. We all feel it, experience it and the emotion is triggered for good reason. It is this feeling that we have labeled as impatience that has caused us to seek for improvements, shortcuts, and new ways of doing things. It could well be argued that it is this feeling that has caused humankind to progress as rapidly as it has.

So it is a powerful emotion, and one that is rooted in our very core of our species. So no wonder it is a feeling hard to escape. As a consequence we need to understand this. Impatience is necessary and cannot be avoided but we can help ourselves with a few key tips.

  1. Reduce the number of options in front of you.
  2. Reduce the distractions that could lead to lower cost activities
  3. Recognize when the costs are actually to high and your impatience is legitimate.
  4. All other times, tell your bad self to cool it and get back to work.

Sometimes the family will sit around to watch a movie. We will argue for 30 minutes about what movie to watch. I will get frustrated and impatient. The cost of watching a movie has suddenly increased to listening to the children fight. My wife figured a way around this. She narrows the choice down to 2 or 3 movies. That way there is a reduction in the choices and therefore less fighting and consequently less impatience.

Impatience cannot be overcome, it only can be contained. Reduce choices, reduce distractions and really determine if the costs of an activity are truly worth it.

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