Last night, I went to bed at nine o'clock, which is early for me.
But I was so tired and worn out that I had no choice but to turn in. I could've pushed through another couple hours of work or done something more “productive,” but sometimes the most productive thing I can do is rest.
If you've ever been so busy you've made yourself sick or snapped at your spouse due to stress, you know what a lack of rest can do to you. You can run yourself ragged and spread yourself so thin that you stay active without really accomplishing anything.
When we race from one thing to the next, we end up leading busy, but insignificant lives. [Tweet that]
Every time I'm too busy to take a walk or enjoy a good meal, I remind myself that I need to slow down. If you're moving too fast to enjoy the simple things in life, then so do you. And you'd better do it now before it's too late.
Why you should slow down soon
Why is it important to slow down sooner rather than later? Because:
- It's good for you. Studies show that getting eight hours of sleep can actually lead to weight loss, not to mention the obvious fact that a well-rested mind leads to clearer thinking and better work.
- It makes you more likable If you're always tired (because you are doing too much), chances are you are often cranky. Who wants to be around someone who's always complaining or in a bad mood? Your friends, family, and colleagues will thank you if you take a nap or say “no” once in awhile.
- It helps you focus on what really matters. It's possible to strive so hard that you end up missing the most important things in life. When all you have are obligations, you forget to savor the special moments.
When we slow down, we make a few important declarations to the world (and to ourselves):
- “I can't do everything, but I can do the essential things.”
- “My loved ones deserve my best, not my leftovers.”
- “When I do less, I do better.”
Don't you want to be able to say those things more? I do.
Let's go for a stroll together
For me, slowing down is about being present. It's about making the person in front of me feel like important (because they are). It's about concentrating on the tasks I'm doing in the moment, because when I'm distracted everything I do suffers.
Maybe like me, you've been ready to slow down for awhile. But you never started, because you weren't quite sure where to begin.
If that's you, I'd like to invite you to join me in taking the Slow Down Challenge, a simple five-day series that will help you enjoy each moment, be more productive, and live with greater intentionality.
Instead of trying to cram more activities into shrinking blocks of time, what if we appreciated each moment for what it has to offer? And instead of trying to increase the quantity of time, what if we focused on the quality?
If you've been rushing through life when you should have been resting, this challenge is for you. Let's take the first step (which may look more like a stop) together.
How do you need to slow down right now? Share in the comments.