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Why you’re always rushed and what you can do about it

From the moment you hit that last snooze button, it seems you’re always in a rush.

You’re rushing to get dressed, pray, eat breakfast, get the kids out of the door, beat traffic, and reach work before your 9:00 am meeting.

You hate this, and you wish you could stop feeling so rushed. But you blame the alarm that fails to wake you up earlier. Your kids, who are slow to get ready. And the morning traffic, which doesn’t fail to throw at least one major accident or instance of road work in your way each day.


There are two reasons why you’re continuously feeling rushed. They may sound counter-intuitive, so tell us if you feel otherwise in the comments section below:

1. You Enjoy It

Admit it. Feeling rushed is addictive. It fills you with adrenaline and stress hormones that keep you on your feet and excited to catch the next train or the next appointment. In a life where our 9-to-5 is mundane and boring, feeling rushed becomes our heart’s response to add some excitement to our life.

2. You Plan for It:

When you propose that it’ll take you 21 minutes to get to work and you discount all the time it takes you to get through the door, go down the stairs, start your car, beat traffic, find parking, and take the next elevator to your office floor, then you’ve really been planning to feel rushed.

The point I’m making is clear: feeling rushed is a choice we make. And we’ve been making this choice so often that it has become a habit or pattern in our thinking that's hard to break.


To break the pattern of thinking that traps us in the “always rushing” mode, we need to make conscious decisions to practice a different mode, long enough to enjoy not being rushed as our new default. Below are three powerful, spiritual ways to help us practice not being rushed:

1. Come Early to Prayers

Praying five times a day can be a powerful antidote to not feeling rushed, but with one condition: don’t rush your prayers either! If you arrive 10–15 mins early for prayers, at a mosque or in your designated prayer space, and simply enjoy the experience of praying and the peace and serenity it provides, you’ll start feeling calm in other aspects of your life. (Trust me, just try it!).

2. Spend 30 mins Each Day Reciting the Quran

We often encourage ourselves to recite at least one page of the Quran, and we even rush through that sometimes. What if we approach reciting the Quran not as an item that we check off our to-do list but as an experience, a conversation in which we’re hearing God speak to us? Spending at least 30 minutes simply being present in such a conversation will remove the urgency behind the feelings of being rushed (Pro-tip: Switch your phone off during this period (better yet, hide it) so it doesn’t distract you).

3. Practice Mindful Remembrances of God When You’re Feeling Rushed

Perhaps you’re really busy, and you’re not able to spend 30 mins at the mosque or reciting the Quran. Here’s something else you could try: The next time you’re feeling rushed and stressed (perhaps when you’re stuck in traffic), utter remembrances of God mindfully: praise Him, glorify Him, or praise His Prophet. Let these remembrances overwhelm you with calmness and kindness towards yourself and the situation around you.

What you will notice in these three antidotes is that they require us to step outside our limited, stressful material life and enter the expansive metaphysical, spiritual life. Essentially, they put things in perspective for us and remind us that life’s too short to rush through it.

Mohammed Faris is an international coach, author, and speaker who helps executives, professionals, and entrepreneurs rebalance their lives spiritually, physically and socially to achieve peak performance and live meaningful lives. He’s the founder of and author of The Productive Muslim: Where Faith Meets Productivity.

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Mohammed Faris