Slowing Down To Do More
Slowing Down to Do More
I have a horrible problem with multitasking. When my computer takes too long I check my phone for messages. When I get dinner started I am also cleaning the kitchen, starting the laundry and thinking about notes I still have to write. Some would think that this is a great use of time, efficient. When dinner begins to burn I realize that I spread myself too thin and need to slow down. Suddenly multitasking is not working so well.
This happens with us emotionally too. When we’ve got too much on our minds, our priorities tend to leave our attention. Our kids seeking our attention, the stove alarm going off, your partner returning home and your too preoccupied to notice. This is a great recipe for shame and guilt later.
Feeling overwhelmed is one of our most common emotions. There is too much to do and too little time. When I find myself in this space I ask what is the most important thing right now. It’s always the people around me. This helps me slow down. 15 years from now I’m not going to remember what we had for dinner. (Thank goodness because it’s a burnt mess!) I will remember the way my family felt when we are all together again.
I’m working on putting boundaries around this multitasking. This is what I’ve found works.
1. Slowing down and focusing on the things that really matter.
2. Scheduling time for the things that really matter. We schedule work everyday. Why not schedule and honor family/friends/partner time?
3. Catching myself when I am thinking of three different things at once and deciding what to focus on first.
4. Make a list so I don’t stress about remembering everything I need at the grocery store.
5. Use my drive time as self care time. I roll down my window, turn off the radio and notice the smallest details. The road I drive by every day and never noticed it’s name, the swishing of a horses tail, the blossoms on the trees, a bird’s echoing song. Focus on this moment. This moment I can handle. Then I turn up the radio and belt out that favorite song!
6. Go to the bathroom when I first notice I have to go. It seems simple but how many of us “remember” we have to go to the bathroom and an hour has past? Go pee. While you’re in there take a few deep breathes.
7. Tell my partner/child/friend what I love about them. Make eye contact and listen.
8. Preparing ahead of time to decrease anxiety the day of. Packing lunches the night before, making a list of questions for the doctor appointment tomorrow, looking up directions and ensuring I have enough time to get to my appointments.
9. Remembering to make time for the things I really love so I have activities that I look forward to.
10. Not being afraid to modify what works for someone else so it works great for me.
What have you found works for you to slow down and enjoy the moment?
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