When I run, I typically use an app called “Couch to 5K”. This app is designed to help a novice runner get off of his/her couch and run a 5k. It is an eight week program that has you run three times per week and the runs are timed. It starts out by mixing walking and running in order to build up your endurance. It ends with a 35 minute run that is estimated to be the amount time necessary to complete a 5k. It is a very helpful app for those who lack a running background.
My friend and I have completed this app a few times, but we like the timed aspect of it and it works well for where we are running. I am the keeper of the app. Thus, my phone accompanies me throughout our run. This app has the ability to run in the background while another app is being used. So, I start it up and then switch to my music app. Nothing like a little Van Halen, Def Leppard, or Beastie Boys to get the blood flowing!
As I have said multiple times, I am not a natural runner. I really am not a HUGE fan of it. But, I do it nonetheless. Enough about that, let’s get back to the story. One of the problems with me carrying my phone while running is that I am tempted to check the clock. I want to see how much time is left. Now as long as my music is blaring and I am locked into it, I can do pretty good at not sneaking a peek. But on those days when my focus is a little lax, I find myself checking the time. And not just once, but multiple times!
I never realized how long a minute can be when you are waiting for it to pass! Time stopped! And the more I focused on the amount of time left, the longer the run seemed to last. This did not bode well for me having a successful run! I really need a distraction that allows me to be surprised by the buzzer. And on those days when the distraction is successful, my runs are more enjoyable (if I can say that).
Life is like that too. The more you focus on the finish line, the end of a project, the completion of the deal – the longer it can take. We can get so caught up in getting done that we loose sight of what we are doing. We can caught get in the endless cycle of “Are we there yet?”
Now there is nothing wrong with goals and deadlines. In fact, I am a proponent of them. But, you have to be careful not to continually be watching the clock on any project. It will make you appreciate the process less and make you more susceptible to stress and fatigue. Proper time management skills can go a long way to help with this, but that is a post for another time.