“Doing a huge number of things doesn’t mean you’re getting anything meaningful done.” Leo Babauta
We live in a fast paced world and it’s hard not to get caught up in the frenzy of doing. There are many demands on our time and attention, and a kind of glorification in being busy.
When I reflect on my day, I often judge it in terms of how productive I was. I berate myself if I haven’t managed to get through my to-do list, which to be honest happens most days! How often do you do this to yourself?
Productivity seems to be a measure of success or failure – we’re winning if we get more done. If we don’t get things done then we’re not working hard enough.
Doing more isn’t always better though. Of course it gets results sometimes, but how you do something matters just as much as the fact that you do it.
Slowing down involves being more intentional with how you do things. That means doing things in a way that is meaningful and fulfilling to you.
The first step is to know what that looks like for you. Do you ever set aside time to think about what you find meaningful and fulfilling?
It’s hard to tune into ourselves when we’re on the treadmill of getting things done. Our own priorities can get lost if our time is always dictated by other people’s needs.
One way to work out what we find meaningful and fulfilling is to think about our values. Connection is really important to me, as is courage.
What are your values? Perhaps health is at the top of your list, or perhaps it’s honesty. Maybe you value self-care above everything else, or having fun.
Knowing what our values are helps us be more true to ourselves. We can make better decisions about what we do if we try to align those decisions with our values.
For example, if we really value our health, we are more likely to prioritise exercise in our schedule. If we crave solitude, we make sure we plan regular time alone.
Something I value is courage. Having an awareness of that helps me to not stay in my comfort zone with the decisions I make.
Slowing down gives us space to think about what is meaningful to us. Doing what is meaningful leads to a greater sense of fulfilment.
10 ways to slow down
- Go outside – being outside in nature helps you slow down and let go of some of the busyness of life
- Turn off your phone – practice doing this for an hour a day, or a whole day at the weekend. Or try turning off some of your notifications
- Take 3 deep breaths
- Savour your tea or coffee – don’t check your phone while you’re drinking it. Adding small moments of mindfulness to your day is a way of slowing down
- Start your day slowly – get up a bit earlier and include something you enjoy in your morning routine
- Do one thing a time – very few people can multitask effectively
- Practice saying no – act in alignment with your values
- Add white space to your schedule – time with nothing planned other than to let your mind wander. Empty space can bring strength and clarity
- Write things down on paper – writing your thoughts on paper slows you down and helps you see things more clearly
- See if there’s anything you can cross off your to-do list to make time for 1-9 above!
Slowing down is work in progress for me, but having an awareness of my priorities really helps. If you would like to have a chat about what’s happening with you and how homeopathy could help, you can book a free call below:
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