We live in a fast-paced society. Hell, we live in a fast-paced world. Things change almost instantaneously. News outlets churn out more stories per hour than the amount of bathroom breaks I take in a day (and I have a small bladder). People talk at a hundred words a minute and so much is going on that speech is hardly concise anyway. And what makes this worse is that we are busier than ever: eating, sleeping, working, groceries, errands, sports, leisure, socializing. And some of us don’t even have kids yet! Besides, even without them, all our free time is sucked into social media and technological mind-clutter. But worst of all, living in a high-paced world and being chronically busy makes time seem to race by. I couldn’t believe it when I looked at the calendar and saw that it was December and 2015 would soon be upon me. And it’s already December 9th!
But I’ve devised a plan. I’m gonna hop off of this high-speed train before it hand-delivers me to old age and I’m gonna work a way to slow things down while I still have the time to do so. Maybe try a few of these out and let me know if they work for you too.
This is my number one problem. I’m an addict. I’m not afraid to admit it. And chances are, you are too! I’m addicted to my phone and my laptop and Netflix and the internet and constantly being preoccupied with SOMETHING! What’s worse, I catch myself doing it. I can feel myself sinking into the chair and opening Facebook or Twitter or Buzzfeed and then endlessly scrolling. Sure, a half-hour here and there to unwind isn’t bad, but my obsession with scrolling has surely accumulated at least a year of time where I could have been doing something productive.
So, vow to stop that. Limit your wasting-time time. Do something that’s exciting and inspiring and maybe even productive. At least you won’t feel like you wasted your time when you look back at what you’ve done with your day.
Multi-Tasking is the cancer of the modern-day, middle class Western citizen. Well, okay, maybe there are others, but it’s one of them. In any case, dividing focus is the best way of losing just that. And what’s happens when we lose focus? We glaze over. Maybe it’s time to be intentional and singular and enjoy the things that we do, instead of just doing eight of them all at one time just to get them over with.
Experience New Things
I’m going to come out and say it: my forty day backpacking trip felt like a lifetime in comparison to the amount of time I’ve been home. I returned a little over five and a half months ago but all that time seems condensed and monotonous. There are periods of time where it seems I have no memories. I was just mindlessly going through the motions. But I think back to the trip and that time seems to stretch out forever. It even felt like an eternity while I was out doing it.
Why? I was doing something new. I was experiencing something out of my normal that was exciting and fun and fresh. Am I suggesting that I leave my home and my job right this second to do it all again somewhere else? Well, it’d be nice, but no. However, maybe there is something to learn from that. Maybe we should strive to do new things in our lives all the time to break up the monotony, whether it’s a new recipe or a new place to visit or a new hobby.
Allow Yourself to be Bored
In fact, I think you should encourage yourself to be bored. Take some time to do nothing. Seriously, absolutely nothing. No distractions. No TV, no computers, no books or phones. Just be for a few moments. Meditate if need be. It doesn’t work for me, but if I can set aside just ten minutes to reflect and absorb, maybe I won’t feeling like I’m half-assing and skimming through life all the time.
Got any methods for slowing life down and being in the moment?