As summer comes to an end, the pace of life picks up for many people. Work intensifies. Your child's school is back in session. Traffic gets worse.
As you return to your whirling-dervish work mode, consider this: Researchers say that the increasingly fast pace of society is hurting your health. Plus, as you become more harried and stressed out, you have a greater chance of losing focus on the "big picture" projects at work, the type of strategy-focused HR initiatives that truly drive your career forward.
Advice: Finding time to sit down and think is important for a healthy mind and body, as well as a productive career.
Take this quiz, developed with the help of Duke University psychiatrist Jeffrey Brantley, to find out if you need to reserve more "think time" in your life.
Give yourself two points for each statement that fits you perfectly; one point for each that fits you somewhat; zero points for each one that doesn't sound like you at all. Then review the table at the end to score your stress:
__ 1. I always eat quickly.
__ 2. I talk rapidly.
__ 3. I often finish people's sentences.
__ 4. I find it frustrating if people speak too slowly.
__ 5. I almost always feel pressed for time.
__ 6. I don't like to linger over a meal.
__ 7. I often feel harried at work.
__ 8. I often push the Close Door button on elevators.
__ 9. I can feel my blood pressure climb in slow checkout lines.
__ 10. I follow the car in front of me closely when driving.
__ 11. I sometimes push the Walk button at intersections repeatedly.
__ 12. I get very frustrated when people are late.
__ 13. I often do two things at once to save time.
__ 14. I get restless if I have to sit still.
__ 15. I feel as if I'm wasting time if I do only one thing at a time.
__ 16. I get crazy when people ahead of me are walking too slowly.
Scoring your stress:
24 to 32: Your fast ways very well could be compromising your health, your well-being and your career.
16 to 23: You're a borderline speedaholic. You'll enjoy life more if you slow down and take think breaks.
0 to 15: Good for you! You're taking life at a reasonable pace.