We live in a world that is addicted to speed. We have quick rice, quick oatmeal, and a while host of other convenience foods. We have a plethora of fast food options for when we want food on the go. We routinely sacrifice quality for speed.
All this rushing around is not good and it is not efficient. It has bad effects on our health, our emotions, and our overall productivity. We all need things done but rushing from place to place and activity to activity is not the answer. Instead, it is counterproductive.
It creates stress. Rushing from one task to another creates stress. There is the pressure to hurry and get one thing done so that we can dive right into the next task. It makes us drive like madmen. It makes us feel guilty when things when things take longer than expected. All this stress builds during the day and when it’s time for sleep our brains are still buzzing.
It is less effective. Benjamin Franklin had it right: haste makes waste. A rush job often has to be redone. Why waste the time? If it is worth doing, it’s worth taking your time and doing it right the first time.
It prevents you from enjoying the moment. Rushing around keeps you focused on the next thing. It keeps you focused on the clock. It packs your schedule so full that you don’t have time to enjoy anything. We miss beautiful moments with our family and friends. We miss the beauty that is around us. We miss the opportunity to reflect, think deeply, and absorb all that God is trying to teach us.
How can we slow down?
Simplify your schedule. You must control your schedule or your schedule will control you. Do not take on too many commitments. Sometime you have to say “No.” Choose only the things that are most important to you.
Plan properly. Be realistic. Don’t plan errands on opposite sides of town and leave no time scheduled for transit. Include things like driving time, meals, and meal preparation into your schedule.
Build in time for relaxation. Despite what the messages on television tell us, we cannot do it all. It isn’t healthy. It is not healthy to rush from place to place and collapse in bed exhausted at the end of the day. Many things that we do during the day deplete our physical and mental energy. Each day we should take some time to fill ourselves up. I usually do this by journaling or reading. Some do this by meditating. Find a way to recharge your battery every day.
Slowing down is the only way to retain your sanity in this crazy world. Slowing down helps us to be more productive. We can think ahead about ways to do things properly and allows us to execute that plan in a way that creates quality results.
Slowing down allows for more happiness. When you take your time eating you can really savor that slice of cheesecake. If you take your time on the drive home you can admire the beauty of nature. If you take your time you can really engage others as you talk to them.
In a world of speed, it pays to slow down. Take a walk to decompress. Do some yoga. Read a chapter of your favorite book. Schedule some time to relax each day. Get out of the rat race and take some time to slow things down. You life will be better for it.