Photo by Allie Provost
Remember back in January when I made that resolution to slow down a bit and enjoy life a bit more? Well, I’ve very excited to share that this goal has been going swimmingly. I thought that this goal was going to be my hardest yet, it has never been my personality to slow down, think, and just live in the moment. I’m fast-moving, I want to know what is coming next and prepare at all cost.
Slowing down a bit has had some amazing consequences on my life. From traveling more to losing weight, and generally feeling more creative. In the past I’ve been so focused on doing these things rather than enjoying them, which actually made for stressful weekend trips, binge exercising and immediate binge eating and writer’s block like no other. So, how does someone who is driven, motivated and overall hard working ‘slow down’?
Below are my tips on getting started, but I promise that it takes time, so feel free to drop me a line in the comments or send me an e-mail. We can motivate each other!
1| It is okay to say no. So, I’m starting with this tip because it is the hardest one for me personally. I’m guilty of saying yes, yes, yes and then I’m left in the wee hours of the morning wondering how I’m going to get it all done and still have time for that friend’s birthday that I promised I would attend. Once I started saying ‘no’ or even ‘yes, but on my terms’ I started living a much stressful life. My biggest learning from saying no actually results in higher quality work. When I’ve been selective on the projects that I want to do, I’ve found myself more passionate and have exceeded expectations.
2| Digital detox. Considering that both my full-time (social strategist of 360i) and part-time (blogger!) job rely on me being on social media, this one is definitely much easier said than done. BUT, once you do, it is SO worth it. On the work front, I usually take the weekend to really shut everything off. I try to leave my laptop at the office and while I may read my emails, I try not to respond until Monday morning. I have found that sometimes your own behavior sets expectations for others. The less I email after hours and on the weekends, the less others will email me after hours and on the weekends. As a blogger, social media is sometimes the single source for your success, so turning off completely is out of the question. Instead, I try to limit myself to one or two platforms. For example, I’m usually only active on Instagram on the weekends. Instagram is actually still relaxing for me, letting me escape to new places. Facebook, Twitter, and new blog content are out of the question!
3| Indulge in guilty pleasures. Whether it be that new episode of The Real Housewives or that overpriced cycling class, do it with pride. Whatever you choose, it should be something that really makes you disconnect from reality and encourages your mind to wander. This is a reward for me, it means that I got all of my work done and prioritized myself for an hour or two. And while I do my best not to think about work or the blog during this time, you’d be surprised on how many work-related breakthroughs I’ve during this time. Do you know how hard it is to finally find the right words to that social strategy you’ve been working on while on a Soul Cycle bike? AND then you need to remember it until the class is over!
4| Stop talking about how busy you are. Everyone is busy. Whether you work multiple jobs or living up the funemployed life, everyone has shit to do. And I recently read this article that discusses the impact of talking about how busy you are. Talking about it is actually like a humble brag. And while you may not be meaning to boost your own ego, it actually impacts your mind just as much as it impacts those around you. This means that when you aren’t busy, you think you should be so you fill your days with unnecessary commitments.
5| Have a strict bedtime. This has been by far the most helpful of all of the tips. I’ve made it mandatory that I got to bed before midnight. I even set up my ‘bedtime’ reminder on iPhone. I’ve decided that if I can’t prioritize correctly to get everything I need to get done before midnight, then the least I can do is prioritize my health and get some sleep. This has definitely lead to some earlier mornings, but I’m always happier with my work. For me, mornings are WAY more productive than late nights.
These are the five tips that I’ve found success with, but it is certainly a work-in-progress. Do I ignore some of these rules sometimes, 100%! BUT, I know that I’m better physically, emotionally, and mentally when I abide by them. In today’s times, this is hard. We are rewarded by how much we get done, how quickly we grow and how effortlessly we make it all look. What we need is each other’s motivation (and acceptance TBH), so I’d love to hear your own tips in the comments!