Slow down to slow down

We can all agree there is not enough time in the day to do everything we want to do. When you get to the end of the day, did you get to do anything you wanted to do?  Perhaps you save the things you want to do for your day off.  Certainly, you get to do what you want to when you have a day off of work. No?

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What you want to do is often last on the list.  Unless . . . its first.  When you figure out how to put yourself first on the list - your life changes.

I will use myself as an example. If there is one thing that will improve my energy, mood, sleep and confidence, it is taking yoga over lunch.  I learned through trial and error, that working out in the evening is a sure way to get irritated with myself, because it will never happen.  A morning class, before the world wakes up, isn't appealing to me.  That left lunchtime.

To protect my lunch hour to increase my percent participation in yoga, I had to slow down my pace.  I didn't schedule meetings that started after 11:00 or before 1:30.  When invited to lunch, I asked if coffee would work instead.  I don't start a new task, respond to an e-mail or answer the phone 10 minutes before I need to leave.  All of this does not mean I don't work, I just slow myself down.  If I can, I want to give up the "I will do one more things before I leave" addiction.

If I turned the tables and sped up right until I should leave for class, the following happens: I am more likely to talk myself out of attending, it will take the first 5-10 minutes of class to get relaxed, I may make a mistake on work from being in a rush, I am rude if I walk in after the class starts.

Another example is my new approach to Monday nights.  Monday work days are usually chaotic.  Getting the family out the door on Monday morning is chaotic.  Why should Monday nights be chaotic? It is rare that myself or my son has an event on Monday night.  After I get home for the day and scrounge for food to eat, I have the option to continue the chaos or slow down.  Slowing down means the phone goes off, Facebook gets the boot and I think of things I like to do.  Not the dishes, laundry or purging papers.  Reading a book, lying down and doing nothing, or chatting with the neighbors.

Here are a few ways to slow down in order to slow down.

  1. Listen to the end of the song on the radio before you leave the car.
  2. Don't check your e-mail unless you are at your desk.
  3. Leave the phone in the car when you go to a restaurant.
  4. Change into comfortable clothes when you get home from work.
  5. Check the plants in the office before you start the workday.
  6. Do nothing while you wait (dr. office, checkout line, water to boil)
  7. Finish your coffee before you leave the house.
  8. Keep your e-mail and Facebook closed unless you are active.

It is easy to keep speeding up, it takes intention to slow down.


Hope Wood