From the moment we get up, we’re faced with decisions, tasks, and responsibilities—people to see, items to examine off of our to-do list, work, and errands to finish—there’s an intense amount of temptation in today’s culture to rush through our day as if there’s some invisible finish line to cross.
I find myself caught on this trap too often, only to find yourself exhausted, impatient, and wrung out.
On my last birthday, I wrote down the words, “wholeheartedly present.” These were the words I desired to live by—a life that was defined by slowing down, living simply, and having authentic reference to the people I like day-to-day.
How can we hit the brakes and move from frantic to peaceful? Here are a pair tricks to help start:
Sometimes, distractions may be good. Here, I’m referring to habits that steal our focus and energy from being present.
The root of many distracting habits can often be traced back to our phones and other devices. If you end up picking up your phone every couple of minutes, try the next:
- Set certain times once you won’t check your phone (i.e., early within the morning, late at night, or through the day once you’re attempting to spend time with family or get work done).
- Set screen time limitations in your phone’s settings
- Put your phone physically out of sight once you’re not wanting to make use of it
- Turn off loud notifications (especially for apps that aren’t needed)
Warning: This may feel boring once you first try it!
The art of single-tasking isn’t practiced today. We often attempt to do as much as possible at one time. Just this morning, I used to be listening to an audiobook while cleansing the kitchen and attempting to make a grocery list!
However, there’s something incredibly calming about just doing one thing at a time. Plus, I’ve found that the tasks actually get done more efficiently when it’s the one thing I’m doing.
Depending on what stage of life you’re in, you could not have the option to single-task very easily. For example, when you’re at home with children, there are sometimes many demands vying in your attention suddenly. This is all of the more reason to try single-tasking every time you’ll be able to! Give yourself a break, and permit your brain and body to concentrate on only one thing at a time.
Challenge: Try eating a meal or completing a chore without multi-tasking today!
Put Your To-Do List in its Place
Stuffing our to-do list to the brim is a one-way ticket to a frenzied day.
In fact, the more we placed on a to-do list, the less likely we’re to get all of it done.
The easiest technique to combat that is to only include the 3 most significant things we want to get done that day! If you find yourself doing more, consider it a bonus, but don’t aim for something unattainable.
Give Yourself Grace
There’s a reason this section is following the one about our to-do lists. In order to decelerate and live more intentionally, we must be honest about our limitations and provides ourselves grace to simply do what we’re capable of do.
There’s a whole lot of freedom that may be present in accepting what we are able to’t do!
If you’re feeling the hustle, hurry, and general busyness of the day catching up with you, take a couple of minutes to breathe, be honest with yourself about what you’re capable of do, and provides yourself permission to only do this.
Another helpful practice to slow your pace throughout the day is practicing gratitude. Doing this in real-time pulls you back to the current and makes you aware of the goodness in each moment.
When you’re feeling your inner voice telling you to “hurry up,” use that as your cue to really physically decelerate or stop where you might be. Take 30 seconds to think about something you’ll be able to be glad about in that moment, and I promise you, your perspective and priorities will shift.
Implementing this idea has definitely challenged my patience. The practice of patience is imperative to intentional living. One technique to train yourself to be more patient is to decide on to do something the great distance as a substitute of rushing and on the lookout for shortcuts.
Have you ever hopped between traffic lanes simply to get somewhere a couple of minutes faster? Try to avoid the constant switching and as a substitute allow yourself to simply benefit from the drive!
When I’ve had a stressful day at work or am feeling overwhelmed as a mom, I stop what I’m doing and go outside. Feeling the sun on my face and hearing the wind within the trees puts every little thing back in perspective and calms the frenetic pace I feel like I would like to follow.
Even just going for a walk is so good in your physical, mental, and emotional health! It lets your brain wander. Some of my best brainstorming and pondering happens after I’ve gone for a walk.
I hope you’re feeling challenged and empowered to try one among these ideas for yourself today!