For many of us, our daily lives are like a frantic race that never seems to end. Regardless of all the planning and scheduling, the rush and chaos never cease to end. Maybe you need someone to tell you this, but sometimes it’s ok to slow down.
Living your life in a constant state of rush and ingratitude is the fastest route to mental stress, dissatisfaction, and burnout. So, below, we discuss some steps you can take to work on yourself. The 8 (8) steps below will help you catch yourself in the rush, slow down, appreciate, and enjoy the good things in your life.
1. Prepare your schedule ahead
Planning your days ahead, the night before can make a difference if you feel you’re always rushing from task to task every day.
Adequate planning can help you clarify your priorities so you can plan your days around what you find important whether this means spending time doing meaningful work, enjoying some time with your family, or creating more room for unique experiences.
2. Create more time for yourself by doing less
Most people are just busy being busy.
In most cases, people are just busy doing a lot of things, many of which might not be necessary. Rather than being busy and frantic, you’re better off productively focused on fewer tasks – the ones that really matter, right now.
Make it a duty to eliminate extra work from your schedule. Your ‘busyness’ will reduce and you’ll find that you’ll have more time for yourself.
3. Focus on one thing at a time
In today’s hyperactive work environment, most working people believe multitasking will help them get more done in less time. But, multitasking is just a myth.
The brain is not configured to handle multiple tasks simultaneously. In reality, you’re only switching your attention between tasks when you think you’re multitasking.
Studies have also shown that in most cases, this ends up not only breaking your attention but also wasting your time. So, don’t waste any more time biting more than you can really chew. Do your work, one task at a time, and focus on finishing the task at hand, rather than careening from one to the other.
4. Be present in the moment
Another thing to learn is to always focus on what is in front of you. This means being mindful of what you are doing at any moment and being engrossed in your work and environment.
There are moments when you might want to get lost in your thoughts. Maybe it’s you thinking of something else that you still need to do or something you’ve done already, it’s important to always bring yourself back into the moment before you stray further. Mastering this takes time along with great practice.
5. Find pleasure in the things you do
An easy way to be present in the task or moment is to find the task or moment enjoyable. You need to appreciate every aspect of what you’re doing to be able to enjoy it. This helps ensure you don’t rush through tasks with your mind and attention divided.
Let’s take dishwashing, for instance, as an example.
Rather than seeing it as a boring task that you just need to rush through, bringing yourself to feel the suds and dishes or the sensation of the water as you watch can make this seemingly boring task a little less boring and somewhat more enjoyable. Life, generally, can be more enjoyable when we focus on appreciating the good aspects of whatever we are doing at any moment rather than being fixated on the negatives.
6. Create time for self and play
Don’t cram your schedule with so many tasks that you forget to create time for yourself to rest and have fun. It’s always recommended to schedule mini-breaks in between tasks. When you find yourself rushing tasks and under pressure, taking a pause and a deep breath can help.
I’m saying don’t forget to make time for yourself to enjoy the things that bring you joy. Occasionally, you may also need to disconnect yourself from everything to enjoy some alone time with yourself or the people that matter to you.
7. Instill an appreciation of nature
Sometimes, a breath of fresh air, the joy of being in a new environment, or being closer to nature, can help you destress and understand that there’s more to life than just being in a constant rush to nowhere.
Rather than being holed up in your homes or offices all the time, create time to explore the outdoors. Go hiking, walking, swimming, or any of the things you love to do.
8. Practice journaling and reflection
When you’re always busy, you’ll hardly have any time for self-reflection. You’ll never have the time to reflect on the good things in your life. It’s also possible that you’ll miss out on even checking in on yourself to assess how you’ve been spending your time.
Going forward, you should make it a habit to connect more with yourself.
Integrate journaling into your daily routine. Every day, write out your thoughts and feelings along with the things for which you are grateful, big or small. Not only does this help you slow down to connect with yourself but could also help you cultivate gratitude for inner peace and contentment.
As journalist Carl Honoré always says;
The world is always going to be this giant smorgasbord of things to consume and experience. The problem with most people is that they want to hurry it all to have it all.
Nowadays, we’ve been so entrained in the sounds of trains and clicky sounds of computer keyboards that we hardly can enjoy the humming of birds or the breezy waves of the shore.
It’s high time you resist the urge to rush and learn to approach life, one thing at a time.
Start driving slowly beyond the speed limit.
Stop cramming foods down your throat and eat slowly.
Be mindful of whatever you set out to do.
When you feel yourself speeding up again, take a pause and a deep breath. Take some more and feel the stress go right through the window. These and the other steps discussed above will go a long way to help you master this greatly-needed art of slowing down and cultivating gratitude.