The key ring of my fob (the remote entry for my car) broke a year or so ago. Since then, I have unlocked my car the old fashioned way – walking right up to the door and manually unlocking it. I didn’t mean to have this happen. In fact, the first few months, I was rather annoyed that I had to wait until I got to the door, then waste oh, a second opening it up.
But after a while, it became a reminder to me – not everything has to be fast. Not everything has to be done instantaneously. And waiting to get to my car to unlock it actually may provide a discipline I need in life – to slow down.
And it may be just what I need. To balance out the crazy pace of my schedule. To experience the joy of moving more slowly. Taking life in. Having time to notice.
One of these days, I might get the thing fixed, but at this season in my life, I’m grateful.
Maybe you have something that reminds you to slow down. Here are six thoughts about slowing down in life.
Don’t spin so many plates. I heard the quote once that spinning more plates doesn’t make you more talented, it just increases your chances of dropping one. It’s ok to say no and to know understand your limitations.
Drink hot tea or have a hot piece of pie. I think one of the values of hot drinks is that you can’t guzzle them. You have to sip them and that takes time. It slows the pace and allows you to relax (until the caffeine kicks in). Eating slowly also helps.
Don’t take your phone to one on one meetings (at the very least, turn it on silent). No matter how advanced our culture becomes, there will always be one and only one way to build quality relationships – time. Don’t interrupt a human interaction with a text, voicemail or other gadget centered stuff.
Whistle or hum. Songs physically lift our spirits and our attitudes. Listening to music of any kind can make a difference in your day and in your pace.
Invest the last ten minutes. What about reserving the last ten minutes of your work day for something beneficial to you, your family, or your friends? Send one more email – but send it to your spouse just letting her know how much you love her. Send a letter or note to your kids. Send a note to a co-worker thanking them for something. Connect with two or three others to plan something for your boss. Make the last ten minutes of each day count for something that makes an impact.
Plan breaks in your schedule. If you are the type that likes to do stuff all the time – then plan breaks that are fun and active. Do something to make the most of free days! Have you been talking about an activity or trip for some time. Just writing down a date will get you moving in that direction and will help temper the insanely out-of-control schedule that one so easy to falls into.