Learning to Slow Down

It’s hard to take it slow…

The dangers of a rushed life seem obvious when you step back, but easy to miss in the moment.

Without noticing the way we rush around to just ‘get things done’, we can so easily slip into a life that’s barely present. The rush ends up taking over; we get nothing but numbness, in order to be able to continue.

What’s stopping me from a slow and steady life?

You’re taking on too many things

I am such a sucker for adding hobbies and interests to my life. I’m the ultimate over-estimator of my time — like many of us, I assume I can get 1000% more things done than is actually possible in any given time slot. Instead of allocating myself 1–2 tasks that could be done within the day, I allocate 10–15 and fail at most of them. Then I berate myself for that failure.

Never half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing.

Ron had it down. Time to subtract and lean in to those really key items on the list.

You’ve assigned yourself all the responsibility

I wrote recently about my therapist, who was the first person to make me do the pie chart exercise. In this exercise, she asked me to list everyone involved in a situation I found stressful.

You haven’t learned to ask for support

As a perfectionist and an overachiever, I am loathe to ask for assistance. Party out of ego, thinking I can do everything better myself, and partly because it always seemed like a weakness to need help.

You are taking on things that don’t really matter

Another error I routinely make is the error of assigning myself 10 tasks, most of which are not that important. There will usually be only 1–3 tasks on that list which are really important to me and my values.

A summary on the value of slowness…

Life doesn’t have to be about speed. Those people who have ticked off every box on their list of life achievements by age 21 are great, and all power to them. But for most of us, it takes time, thought, and dedication to achieve what we really care about.

  1. Re-assign responsibility appropriately.
  2. Ask for help when you need it.
  3. Focus on the things that matter to you, not society at large.

Written by

Trying to live better. Writing on Mental Health, Relationships, and Living Ethically. Editor/Podcaster.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store