Slow down

January 22, 2018

I am naturally more of a hare than a tortoise.  But I have learned over the years that channeling my inner tortoise and slowing down actually helps me get a lot more done. 


Here are some ways I slow myself down. Perhaps one or more of these will work for you.


Listen to relaxing music or sounds. I really benefit from the music that comes with my Calm meditation app (it makes me feel like I'm at the spa). I also like ocean sounds or thunderstorms on my White Noise app. And for over 20 years, I've used the CHANT album to slow myself down. And I get extra benefit if I....


Wear earbuds. When the music or sounds mentioned above are piped directly into my ears, I can escape from the rest of the world and focus on one thing at a time. Speaking of which....


Focus on one thing on a time. When I'm moving really fast, I'm bopping from one task to the other. My mind is scattered, my nerves are frayed, and my accomplishments are few. So to accomplish more, I focus on one thing at a time, and I take my time. I also....


Take deep breaths. When I slow down my breathing, it relaxes my whole body. It allows me to reset my mind and I am better able to work on things in a deliberate way. To know what I need to work on, I...


Make a list. Making a list that includes even the most mundane tasks helps me be deliberate about what I accomplish, and lately I've been trying to make that list in chronological order. Maybe I have 7 small things to accomplish in an hour. I will list them in the order I plan to tackle them; I plan the work, and then I work the plan. While I do that, I.... 


Talk to myself. I tell myself things like, "I work on one task at a time" and "I am working on this now." It helps me stay in the moment. It also helps when I....


Time myself. Sometimes I move quickly or jump from task to task because I think it's going to take a really long time to complete a certain project and therefore I can't spend the time it takes. But setting a timer in the background or just writing down my start and end times helps me see some things don't take that long at all if I focus. 


It sounds counterintuitive, but when you slow down you'll get more done. 


Photo by Nick Abrams on Unsplash

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    - Henry David Thoreau