Do you sometimes feel like life is moving too fast for you to keep up? Finding the brakes during these times seems impossible, but if you keep going at breakneck speed, you’re bound to crash eventually or simply run out of gas. Slowing life down is more than a luxury; it’s often a necessity to keep yourself from spiraling out of control.
If you’re feeling out of breath due to the amount of work and trials you are currently facing, let’s take a step back together and analyze the situation. Use this guide to reevaluate your current trajectory in an attempt to slow things down and regain control. Let’s get moving (slowly but surely, that is):
1. Leave Spaces in Your Calendar
Feeling overwhelmed? Take a look at your Calendar and see how booked you are. For the next few days, it might be worth leaving some spaces so you can keep a slower pace and regain your bearings.
Sometimes we get too caught up in trying to be as productive as possible that we overcompensate and burn out. The key to good mental health is by staying productive within your means. It’s not worth developing anxiety and depression just to finish a couple of extra tasks in a single day.
If you have a problem filling in every space in your Calendar, plan some calmer activities in those empty slots. For example, take the time to go on a walk, call your mother, or get a snack. Your time won’t be spent idly, and you’ll be able to continue at a more methodically yet consistent pace throughout your day.
2. Make Time for Yourself
Another way to fill up your Calendar is to make time for yourself. Not every hour in your Calendar has to be dedicated to working. Instead, you can quickly slow down your pace by adding in a bit of me-time.
Making time for yourself doesn’t have to overtake your productivity. Instead, it will complement your productivity and help you prepare for each subsequent day. For example, scheduling an evening bath will help distract you from the stress of work and wind down for the night. A good night’s sleep is essential to prolonged productivity, after all.
Being able to break and get adequate rest is a particularly important piece of advice for all entrepreneurs and remote workers. When you work in a capacity where work and home life seem to blend together, planning activities to focus on yourself helps you detach from work and enjoy the other aspects of life.
3. Focus On Your Body
When life is moving at a fast pace, your body can get neglected in many ways. By putting a greater focus on your body, you force yourself to slow down. In addition, exercise and eating well helps you reduce stress and make sure your body is in it for the long haul.
Take a second now to review your posture. Is your back bent over and your neck craned at an unusual angle? When you get caught up in work, you might not realize how poor your posture has gotten. Poor posture will cause aches and pains to come home with you and keep you on edge.
Breathing exercises are a great way to stop for a moment and take care of your mind and body. Closing your eyes and taking slow, deliberate breathes will clear your mind, slow down your heart, and reset your attitude. Even five minutes can change the course of an entire day.
4. Stop Multitasking
When your to-do list is filled to the brim, it’s easy to find yourself looking for ways to multitask. While you might feel like this is a way to get ahead, you could actually be stressing yourself out more than necessary. You’re filling your mind and time with double the activities, which will cause your pace to pick up even faster and become more intense.
Not only that, but multitasking isn’t always an efficient way to work. You might not get your work done much faster, and you’ll be sacrificing a lot of quality by dividing your attention. In addition, looking back on avoidable errors will cause you to feel even more stressed than when you started.
Do your best to focus on a single task at a time. You can even use Calendar analytics to track how long it takes for you to complete one task at a time versus multitasking to see the difference. Add in an assessment of quality and mental health, and you’ll see for yourself why multitasking is only making matters worse.
5. Take Breaks
Part of the reason life might be going by too quickly for you is because you’re not taking any breaks. Taking your 15-minute break at work isn’t a sin; it’s your right and could even be necessary during times like these. In addition, it gives you a chance to recalibrate your mind before finishing off a long shift.
If you find it challenging to make time for breaks, schedule them into your Calendar. You can even try something like the Pomodoro Technique to sprinkle in short five-minute breaks throughout your day while maintaining peak productivity.
You should also be taking advantage of afternoons and weekends to take some breaks from work. Taking work home with you is a prominent stressor that can negatively impact many areas of your life. Do your best to make time for family, hobbies, and even just a moment to sink into the couch before you feel overwhelmed.
Life will never stop moving entirely, but you can learn to control the pace. The better you get at regulating your time and effort, the better you will be able to manage stress while maintaining your productivity.
Image Credit: arin krasnikova; pexels; thank you!