About 2 years ago, I crashed into the back of car whilst I was driving home.
The traffic was slow moving and I wasn’t paying attention.
I was thinking about work. Turning issues over in my mind. Wondering about what was going to happen the next day. Thinking about how the traffic was making me late getting to the gym. Not focusing on driving.
My commute then was about an hour each way. Two hours sitting in the car. To begin with, I didn’t mind. It’s time to myself, I thought. Time to think. But you can’t sit and think whilst you’re driving. Not properly. The world had handed me a lesson in what happens when you try.
It highlighted a larger issue in my life.
I was rushing around, trying to fit everything in. I was busy, but without any real direction. Not only was I not able to single-mindedly focus on the task at hand, I had no time just to let my mind wander, to explore the things it wants to explore. I had no time to just switch off.
It took me some time to realise that this was the case. At first I put it down to personal inadequacy, an inability to cope. But eventually I realised what was going on. I wasn’t managing my time or my thoughts. I was spending too much time focussing on the wrong things. I needed to become more self-directed.
It isn’t viable for me never to have to drive anywhere.
But I can minimise it down to what’s absolutely necessary. And keep redefining what necessary means. I can set aside more time just for thinking.
I can create a life where I’m completely in control of where I want to be and when I want to be there.