In our world today, it is difficult to imagine slowing down. Society places weighty emphasis on striving for faster paces and unapologetically doing more. It seems there is always more to do and the more you do of it, the further you will go. When was the last time you were coached to slow down in pursuit of productivity?
In our world today, it is difficult to imagine slowing down. Society places weighty emphasis on striving for faster paces and unapologetically doing more. It seems there is always more to do and the more you do of it, the further you will go. When was the last time you were coached to slow down in pursuit of productivity? This phenomenon of slowing down seems to be one swept away by the dominating “more is better” mantra.
As we take a closer look into this idea of slowing, research is showing a contrary point of view. You mean to tell me that in order to become more successful, or better at my job, or to get more out of my life, I need to pause? This idea of doing less in pursuit of more has become entirely contradictory to what we believe to be true in our hearts and what we demonstrate to be true with our actions.
With our society's infatuation with success, many researchers have set off to find out what taking a step back can do for both our bodies and our minds. Allowing for a pause may actually aid our brain in firing at new calibers, becoming more readily able to think creatively and problem solve more effectively.
Practically, this idea of ‘slowing’ comes easier to some more than others. We have become addicted to doing and retraining this busy habit may feel unsettling. But if we step back, take a real assessment of the pace at which our life is spinning, we might be motivated to implement some of these strategies.
Use Your Calendar for Good
If you are accustomed to the constant state of ‘doing more’, you are likely shackled to your ever compounding schedule. Odds are, you ditched the pen and paper method of the stone ages years ago. Begin by carving out time in your schedule by physically blocking off the space to slow down, be still, and practice the lost art of doing nothing. Take note of the way you felt prior to this concerted effort and follow up by assessing how you felt afterwards. Watch closely as you begin to notice your brain functioning with a new (and I’m sure somewhat foreign) clarity.
Try Something New
We easily fall into the trap of disguising our efforts to ‘slow’ with ‘self help’. We use this time to check another box or add another layer to our resume. Instead, try something new, void of ulterior motive. Find a new environment, experience, or activity that allows your mind and body to detox from the ever present desire to continue staying busy. Find a new coffee shop, but don’t bring anything but your wallet with you. Take a stroll at a local park, but set your phone to silent and make sure you’re not tracking your steps. Find a window at your office, stare blankly at the view, allowing your thoughts to fade as quickly as they arrive.
Begin Slow and End Slow
This idea of slowing has the potential to plummet down our list of priorities. Allowing yourself the space to begin your day on a slower note and end in the same vein may start to infuse your life with its neurological benefits.