• Patrick McAndrew

5 Ways To Slow Down In A Fast World

We certainly live in a busy bee world, don’t we?  It seems like we barely have enough time in the day to relax, let alone breathe and eat.  We are running from meeting to meeting, from place to place, from appointment to appointment.  We then come home and think about how much more work looms over our heads the next day.  Because of this, we just want to sit down.  We want to watch TV or put on a good movie because we are so exhausted from the day.  I’m all for good movies, but its too bad that, for many of us, our busy days suck out the energy from within us that we cannot dedicate our free hours to more productive means.  How about that topic you wanted to study?  Or how about learning to play the piano?  And, of course, exercise is super important.

How do we parse out this time for us?  How do we set aside some time to take care of ourselves and not get lost in the busyness?  Let’s take a play out of the tortoise’s book and look at 5 Ways to Slow Down in A Fast World.

5 Ways to Slow Down in A Fast World

  • Early to Bed, Early to Rise

There has been many a time that people have given me a hard time about this little nugget of advice, but it is so instrumental in changing up your lifestyle.  If you go to bed early, you will wake up feeling energized and rejuvenated.  This is a habit, so it will take some time to cement into your mind and body.  But, once you get over that hurdle, it will benefit you beyond belief.  Why do I say this?

If we wake up early, say an hour or two before we would usually wake up, we are able to dedicate that time to ourselves.  When we are constantly giving up our time throughout the day to menial tasks, the first hour or two of the day is ours for the taking.  We can exercise our bodies, read a good book, or perhaps jot down our thoughts.  Many people will take that time to meditate.  If you reserve that time for yourselves in the morning, you can bet your bottom that things will be less crazy and frantic throughout the day.

  • Plan Out Your Day

When you plan out your day the night before, you will have a greater expectation of what you want your day to look like.  Write down three tasks that you wish to get done throughout the day.  As is customary in a busy world, unexpected things will come up, but if you plan out your day you will have a target to aim for.  You will be more focused and have a goal to achieve.  This is a much better alternative than going in blind and seeing what the day throws at you.

  • What’s the Worst That Can Happen?

I used to be quite the baller back in the day.  Not really, but I did enjoy playing a lot of basketball.  I remember being a kid and playing on a small, community league.  There was one kid on my team who would freak out whenever we lost games.  I wish I could find that short-tempered kid and thank him because he embodied someone that I did not want to become.  No one is perfect, but we have a tendency to make things out to be a bigger deal than they really are.  We stress over not handing in a paper on time.  We worry that we will be fired if we don’t get a task done for our boss.  Most of the time, however, these grievances are not life-threatening.  Most of the time, these things will not matter a year from now, a month from now, or even a week from now!  When we put what seem like life or death situations into the greater context of the world, we begin to realize that these “big problems” are but little annoyances that don’t really matter.

When job searching, we often find under Preferred Qualifications, “Ability to multitask and work on multiple projects at once” I say nay to that!  Multitasking is a big myth.  What use to be considered an impressive quality is now seen as a disadvantage.  Why is this?  Multitasking splits our attention.  It scatters our mind.  It prevents us from being our most productive selves.  When we are multitasking, we are stretching ourselves to attempt to juggle multiple responsibilities at the same time.  The outcome is that our work is vague, weak, and very sloppy.  When we laser focus on one thing at a time and give our full attention to that thing, the ending product is a strong, lean, mean, effective machine.   Because we are able to dedicate all of our attention to one task, the task gets done quicker and better than being completed along with several other tasks.  When allow ourselves to “unitask,” we are productive, feel less overwhelmed, and are much more efficient throughout our work day.

  • Fly Away From Your Nest

Our 21st century nests are our smartphones.  We are tethered.  Smartphones are distraction machines that steal away precious moments of calm, silence, and serenity that we don’t even realize we are missing out on.  Because we are always connected, we always have something to work on, something to look at, something to get done.  Oh, I’m just sitting here?  Let me check e-mail.  I’m bored.  Let me scroll social media.  Smartphones have become fillers throughout our days that take away our slow moments.  We always feel so busy because we fill up our less busy time with more busyness.  We don’t soak in those moments of stillness, but we must.  Throughout the day, we must fly away from our technological nest and enjoy little human moments.  Those little moments energize us.  It’s nature’s 5-hour energy.  If we rob ourselves of that and remain connected to the online world at all times, our lives will only move faster and faster.

I hope these were some valuable take-aways.  Try to implement some of these tactics in your life.  Do they help?  Are you able to slow down a bit when using these tactics?  Comment below to let me know your thoughts and tell me if you have any other methods of dealing with our fast-paced world!

Your pal,


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