To Slow Down in Life
Updated: Apr 6, 2020
Do you feel calm and collected?
I think all of us would benefit from slowing down in life. Too often, we live at a frantic pace where we are constantly trying to get stuff done. We have to always be doing something. We don't know how to be bored.
However, there is something to be said for slowing down in life. If you think about it, what is really, truly important to you? The answer might be different for some of us, but for me, what I truly think is important is faith, family, and self improvement.
Obviously, things like career, finance, education, and developing new talents are very important, and those should take a good amount of our time and efforts. After all, we have to put bread on the table. But we need to think about what really matters to us and what our goals and priorities are. We only have a finite amount of time, and too often, it seems like we have an endless number of things to do.
Most of those things don't even contribute to lasting happiness. Such as endlessly scrolling on social media, watching countless YouTube videos, shopping for hours on end, or many other consumption habits that we tend to get caught up in and spend more time on than we should. These are not valuable uses of the precious time we have.
To me, I find the most fulfillment when I'm drawing near to my Creator, when I am with people I care about (especially my husband), and as I become a better person in learning and growing. I have found times in my life where the things I do are not always geared towards those goals. I've wasted a lot of time, and to what end? We should be constantly progressing towards our goals, and part of that progression includes slowing down.
It's hard to enjoy life when you're running all over the place. Even at work, it's important to slow down. That might be a little difficult, since you need to get things done, but trying to focus on the overarching goals and trying to see what nonsense can be cut out might help with the workflow.
I'm a manager in my company. Though I love my job, I find that sometimes I become very busy and get bogged down in all the different tasks I need to do. It's very easy to get sucked into the rote tasks of the job, as there are so many things to do. Sometimes I just want to close my doors so I can work without having to deal with people. The problem is that being a manager in a people-oriented business means I can't afford to not take the time for people.
Sometimes I’ll get frantically busy and become so stressed that when I am working with people, it's hard for me to be in the right spirit that I should be in. Whatever I'm doing, my mood and tone are felt throughout my area of influence in the company. That's true for every employee.
Fortunately, the manager before me set a great example and did a fantastic job in creating a company culture where people helped each other, were loving, focused on the mission, understanding, kind, and all sorts of great stuff, I try to keep up that same culture, but it necessitates slowing down and focusing on what matters most.
You can’t rush connection
Steve Covey explained, "Efficiency with people is ineffective. With people, fast is slow and slow is fast." In order to be effective with people, you have to slow down. Don't try to get as many things done as possible; that's not what life is about. Life is not about checking tasks off a to do list. Life is about meaningful accomplishments. And If you want to do something right, you usually need to slow down. Speeding through and trying to get things done quickly is not going to make for good work.
If you want to do a good job, you need to slow down and take your time. That includes family and relationships. That includes business, personal development, spirituality, and everything that is important to you.
You can't rush quality time, planning time, creativity, learning, and developing skills. If you skim through a book, you're not going to get the full benefits. If you if you try to rush learning a language, you are not going to get the same benefits, because it takes deep penetration into your mind for these things to be effective. That is something that we should do more: we should slow down and think about how we can be more effective, rather than how we can be more efficient.
A Christian example
A spiritual example I once heard was about Jesus Christ. Can you see him running around trying to be efficient, getting as much done as possible, working on a checklist, and rushing through His work? Of course not. Jesus spent his time with people. He was never in a rush. He took things slowly. Everything He did was with purpose. And He did it properly. That is a great example for us, whether or not you're religious.
If you want to be effective, stop trying to do so much; just try to do it properly.
My challenge for you is to list out the top three or four most important things to you in life. What do you truly care about? I want you to reflect on how much you rush through these things on a regular basis. How much time do you spend on them in general? Are there other habits that could be cut down a bit so you can put more time towards these more important things and really slow down and spend the time to do them properly?
Schedule a nice date with a spouse every week, spend more time at whatever church you might attend, spend time alone thinking, find inner peace, have meaningful conversations with people, and make yourself a better person. Don't try to do as much as you can; just do what matters and do it properly.