How To Slow Down And Stop Rushing Through Life

Do you ever feel like you’re rushing through life? Trying to complete your never-ending to-do list, taking in an overload of information in a short amount of time but barely skimming the surface. I know I do!

Often, I put too much pressure on myself. I set myself goals with a limited amount of time to complete them, let alone enjoy the journey. I feel like a failure if I can’t complete everything on my to-do list, even though my to-do list is ongoing. Sometimes I can’t fully enjoy the book, article or blog post which I’m reading because I’m constantly pressing fast forward and thinking about the next thing on my list. It’s sad really but I’m pretty certain this is the case for most of us. We don’t often take time to slow down because we think if we slow down, we will be left behind. Yet if we actually made an effort to slow down life would be a lot simpler. We would make fewer mistakes, be more productive, have a clearer mind and feel less overwhelmed.

Slowing down can be difficult when we live in a busy society, but it’s not impossible. Here’s how to do it.

slow down

1. Set a reminder

It can be easy to forget to slow down in this busy fast-paced world, that’s why it’s important to set yourself a reminder every now and again. Whether that be a post-it note on your computer screen, a poster in your bedroom or a notification on your phone.

2. Have more breaks

Schedule more breaks between your tasks and activities so you can enjoy your day at a more relaxed pace. During work, make an effort to walk away from your desk more often. Use these little breaks to make a drink or speak to a colleague. Having more breaks throughout your day will allow you to step back from your work and slow down.

3. Switch off

It’s ironic that technology is designed to make our lives easier, yet we use our devices to do more things than ever before. Resulting in a busier more hectic lifestyle. By switching off every now and again, you are giving yourself the opportunity to slow day and clear your mind. Being connected to your phone all day means that you are likely to be interrupted, and you are available to other people’s demands, even if you are already swamped. It’s extremely difficult to slow down when you’re always online, so try to disconnect every so often.

4. Listen more

Many of us (and I’m majorly guilty of this too) are distracted by our phones when we are spending time with others. When we are having a conversation with friends or family we check our phones and if it’s not our phones which are distracting us, it’s our minds. We are there in person, but our mind wanders elsewhere. It pops over to our to-do list and then brings its attention back to the present. Then it wanders off again, into the future, thinking about what we are going to do or say next. Of course, it can be hard to train our minds to stay fully focused all of the time, but a good place to start is keeping your attention on the person you are with by putting your phone away.

5. Stop multitasking

As I write this post I currently have five tabs open on my laptop and I’m resisting the urge to check my phone (guilty!). However, I’m sure this is the case for most people when you are working on a task or project and while multitasking might seem productive… it’s not. By focusing on one task at a time you are going to work much more efficiently. Your mind will be clearer and you will start to slow down, the task at hand will become more simple because it’s the only thing you are focused on.

6. Eat slower

Sometimes we eat our food as quickly as possible, for no real reason and end up feeling stuffed and sluggish because we’ve overeaten (or maybe that’s just me?). Instead of finishing your meal before you’ve had time to enjoy it, try to appreciate your food and be mindful of each bite. The meal will taste nicer and you will get full up quicker.

7. Plan your time

There are some surprising benefits to planning, one being it helps you slow down. You see, when you plan your time correctly, you will spend your time doing exactly what you have planned to do, in the time you have planned to do it. Nothing more. When we don’t plan our time we end up trying to do everything at once. Let’s say you sit down to write a blog post and then a the corner of your eye you see the washing basket overflowing so you put a load of washing on. Then before you sit back down to your blog post, you decide to empty the dishwasher, and just like that, you’re busy rushing around the house, trying to be productive but not completing the task you actually wanted.

8. Wake up earlier

What does your usual morning routine look like? Is it relaxing, do you make breakfast, do you have time for yourself? The morning is the perfect time to slow down, your body has only just woken up and when you suddenly rush around trying to get ready for the day ahead, you’re setting yourself up for a chaotic and stressful day. By waking up earlier you will feel more relaxed, and peaceful and will naturally slow down. Waking up earlier is a difficult habit to start but once you get into a routine you will be glad you started!

9. Speak slower

Sometimes we speak way too fast, maybe it’s because we’re nervous, maybe its’ because we want to get the information out before we forget it, or maybe it’s because we have gotten used to doing everything else so quickly, that we know to speak super fast as well! This is something which I need to work on, and I believe it will make a huge difference in how I communicate with others. Speaking slowly allows you to speak with purpose, it means others are more likely to understand you and it means you have more time to think about your answer, before blurting out the first thing that comes to mind.

10. Introduce one new habit at a time

By slowing down we are able to enjoy our mornings, be more productive at work and relax during the evening. It means we can enjoy the present moment and appreciate what life has given us. However, if you try to implement several of these tips at the same time, you are more than likely going to struggle. I would suggest choosing just one to start off with and then once this new habit becomes routine, introduce a second point and so on. The goal is to slow down to become more present and enjoy life, so don’t bring any additional stress into your life by trying to adopt too many new habits at once.

Breathe, relax and comment below 🙂 I would love to hear from you!

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The Comments

  • Jean Brewer

    This is so me! I have had so much going on in my life for years and this last year has been exceptionally difficult for me since loosing my husband to Cancer after 40 years of marriage. But I am finding your posts so helpful and found this one most poignant. I am going to take this on board and start right now.

    • Those Positive Thoughts
      > Jean Brewer

      Hi Jean, I’m so sorry to her about your husband and I’m of course honoured that you’re finding my posts helpful. Please feel free to message me if there are any topics/posts which you would like to read and which would be helpful to you. Thank you for commenting x

  • rose

    Your point to stop multitasking really struck me. It’s so true.

  • Damien Knight

    At a time where I am having to get back into the “rush” again this was much needed.

  • Ladylebz

    Totally agree with planning my time – I used to find myself rushing everywhere and stressed because of lack of time management. such a great habit to learn 🙂

    • Those Positive Thoughts
      > Ladylebz

      Yes to planning our time! It’s such a great habit to start as it means you will spend your time doing exactly what you have planned to do instead of trying to do everything and feeling like you haven’t accomplished much!

  • Giorgia

    I so agree on taking breaks. I use the Pomodoro technique to take small breaks from my work and it’s not only helping me relax, but I’m also more productive. But I need to work on speaking slower. I speak so fast, people struggle to understand me sometimes!

    • Those Positive Thoughts
      > Giorgia

      I’m exactly the same, I speak so fast sometimes and it doesn’t do me any favours! Oh that’s interesting, I’ve never tried the Pomodoro technique before but I definitely think I should try it out! Thanks for commenting x

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