Most of us agree we don’t have enough time. Yet if anything in this world is “equal opportunity,” it’s time. We each get 365 days a years; and each day, unwaveringly, presents each of us with 24 hours, and each hour delivers 60 minutes, and each minute supplies 60 seconds. There are no exceptions to that rhythm.

Why is it then that some people seem to achieve so much with their time (haven’t we all marveled at how the “busiest” people we know appear to juggle their schedules so effortlessly?), and others live in a state of constant overwhelm, with meetings and tasks and obligations coming at them so fast they barely have time to react?

Premeditating what we think we’d love to do without actually being in the thick of it is the beginning of the problem, and having too much ego to scrap it and start over is the end. When we try to anticipate what we’d love, we’re running on a projection, an assumption. Almost everybody believes they have the talent to succeed at the thing they really love. Needless to say, not everybody is correct.

The people who accomplish more with their time have learned to “slow down the pitch.” Think about it.  Just as a great hitter makes mental and physical adjustments to slow down the speed of a 100-mile-per-hour ball hurtling toward the plate, some people are able to do that with their time. They have learned to be in control, to really see the ball coming and create the mental perception that the ball is arriving at the plate slower, giving themselves time to recognize the pitch and react appropriately.

Consider techniques for “slowing down the pitch” so you can actually accomplish more:

  1. Stand deeper in the batter’s box (better positioning).
  2. Visualize yourself successfully hitting a home run.
  3. Take a pass on some of the things that are pitched up to you because they’re not in your strike zone.
  4. Keep your eye on the ball. While multitasking may appear to be a key to getting more things done, study after study shows it isn’t. Push away all your other tasks and focus on the “ball.” The pitch will slow down and you’ll see the ball much more clearly.
  5. Don’t overcomplicate what’s on your plate. Get out there and enjoy the game. When batters are tense and worried, their muscles tighten up, they can’t connect with the ball, and they don’t get on base.

And remember, have some fun while you’re swinging at those pitches!