I feel that most of our life we are rushing to get things done. Deadlines are abundant in our lives… and never ending. When we finish one thing, something else inevitably pops up that needs to get done. We have a desire to get as much done as possible without taking time to truly experience things. Aren’t we all guilty of it? A tireless cycle always moving on to the next thing. Never stopping to slow down and smell the flowers!
As the holidays and end of the year approaches, the need is real to get everything done that we can. Decorating the house, buying gifts, preparing for the holidays feasts and festivities, spending time with friends, family and acquaintances, and trying to accomplish all the goals you set for yourself (personally and professionally) at the beginning of the year. The list never ends! It’s a good time to find a reason to slow down, appreciate the little things in life, and love the life you are living.
I love to read. It’s something that I’ve done ever since I was a little girl and have always loved getting lost in a book – the romance, the mystery, the fantasy. I know I’m not a fast reader, but I find myself trying to read as fast as I can. I whip through books without truly enjoying the journey. I track the books I read on Goodreads and for the past few years have taken part in their reading challenge. The reading challenge is where you challenge yourself to read a certain amount of books in a year. Whenever you log on Goodreads will tell you if you are ahead or behind schedule. For someone that likes to accomplish their personal goals (like me), it makes me feel like I need to read books faster if I’m behind schedule.
It’s time to take the time to read slower. Let your mind wander into a fantasy land wherever the book takes you. Or read to learn something new by slowing yourself down and thoroughly understanding what you are reading.
One thing that I’ve managed to do within the last few years is to eat my food a lot slower. Food should be enjoyed – whether you are eating alone or with other people. However, since most of the time we are in a hurry to get things done, eating becomes something to be rushed through, not taking our time to enjoy the experience. Take time to think about what you are eating; relish the wonderful aroma and the flavors that linger on your tongue. It can become a way to be more mindful.
It is also much healthier for our bodies to eat slower and chew food thoroughly, so that the food can be easily digested and not give us intestinal problems, bloating, or cramps. Additionally, if you are prone to overeating, slowing down can help your brain process the food in your belly to help you avoid eating too much. It’s a great way to not only lose some weight, but also eat healthier in general. So, eat slower, your mind, body and belly will thank you for it.
We are faced with decisions to make every single day. Some decisions require us to think on the spot and make a quick decision, like when we are driving. However other times we have more time to contemplate a decision, yet we pressure ourselves to decide now, like making an impulse purchase. Although we cannot get away from all quick decisions, we can begin to think more before we take the plunge.
If you are about to make a big decision – quitting your job, buying a house, getting married – take enough time to fully contemplate your decision to make sure it is right for you. Additionally, it’s often a good idea to think before you speak, especially if you have harsh words for someone else. This time of year especially, make an effort to put yourself in someone else’s shoes, think about their situation, before you make judgements and hurt anyone with your words.
It is definitely a dilemma of whether working slower can achieve better results or not. There are times when slowing down and taking our time can lead to a better outcome, but more often than not we need to try our hardest to complete our work in the quickest way possible. When we come to a crossroads or a problem we can’t solve, take time to take a step back and slowly work through the problem.
Be more deliberate in what you do. Read slower, eat slower, think and contemplate slowly, and pause to smell the flowers and be thankful you are alive. Take time to enjoy the journey! Life is short, and you only live once.