This post was updated on 27/02/23
When lockdown happened, it forced us all to slow down. We couldn’t carry on with our busy lives, rushing from one task to the next. Jumping in the car to do multiple drop offs and pick ups. Our time being taken up by other things. The thing is, I heard a number of people say they actually enjoyed it. They could spend time on hobbies they’ve not made time for in ages, spend quality time with family or going out for a walk for the pure pleasure of walking and enjoying nature.
Is this you? Maybe like a friend of mine, you’ve rediscovered a love of reading and want to keep it up or you’re determined to keep family meal times a ritual you keep to. Here’s the important point, you don’t have to go back to your busy, hectic life. That’s so last year! Slowing down is the new busy. In this blog post, I’m going to give you 5 simple ways to slow down, do less and enjoy life more.
Leave White Space
Is your calendar so full that you rush from one appointment or task to the next? Do you look at your planner/calendar/diary (whatever it is that you use) and see that so much of the day or week is taken up that you barely have time to get a coffee or go to the bathroom? It sounds like you need to start leaving more white space.
This means leaving time in between appointments/events so you have time for a breather. So for example if you are meeting a friend for lunch at 1pm and you think you’ll be about an hour and half (2.30pm) don’t schedule anything else until 3pm. This gives you enough time not to rush your lunch, get home allowing for traffic and make a cuppa before starting something else.
Single Task, not Multi-Task
Multitasking is the act of performing several independent tasks within a short time. It requires rapidly and frequently switching attention from one task to another. It wasn’t that long ago that I remember seeing message that successful women could multi-task and that’s how they got more done. Er who came up with that? I did a quick Google search and the first article shows me a news article from 2003 saying “that women are better at multi-tasking then men.” However the second article from 2019 says women are not better at multi-tasking they just do more. A study tested whether women were better at switching between tasks and juggling multiple tasks at the same time. The results showed women’s brains are no more efficient at either of these activities than men’s. So switch to doing one thing at a time before moving on to the next task. You’ll get more done and you’ll use less brain power.
Spend Time Without your Phone
Have you ever used one of those apps to monitor how much time you spend on your phone? Whether you know your phone usage or not, the chances are you spend more time on your phone than you would like. It is so easy, when you don’t know what else to do, to pick up your phone, expect answers to your messages straight away and want to be kept up to date with what everyone else is up to. Start spending more time away from looking at your phone and enjoy the here and now. Perhaps go for a walk using this principle. Keep your phone with you in case..you know…you need to make an emergency phone call. But keep it in your bag and enjoy your surroundings.
Establish a Morning Routine
I’ve written about the power of a morning routine and in fact that’s much more coming next month. I’ll link to it here. One of the benefits of a nourishing morning routine is that you start the day in a slower more deliberate way, rather than starting your day full of rush and busy-ness.
If you don’t know where to start with creating a morning routine, start with getting up just 10 minutes and write your intentions for the day.
Have a Relaxing Evening Routine
Set aside at least an hour to wind down before bed. Lower the lights, stop using electronic devices, and turn off the TV. This will help send the message to your mind and body that it is nearly time for sleep. In your evening routine, you might want to include a bath, listening to music, or writing in your journal
So there you have 5 tips to move towards a slower pace of life. I would love to hear from you in the comments, which one you are going to try first.
If you like tips via video, make sure you are in my free Facebook group, Shine in Self-Care, where I provide a new video training every Wednesday evening at 8pm BST