Slow Down to Speed Up

Sometimes, I need to remind myself to slow down to get things done. It takes some effort because it’s counter intuitive. It reminds me a bit of Driver’s Ed and learning to drive in the mud. Our teacher would have us speed up as much as we could and then when we hit he mud, he’d slam in the brakes. I think it was to teach us about how the anti-lock brakes work, but also how a car will react to those wet muddy road conditions. When you slam on the brakes all the power you have left in controlling the car is to steer. You can’t control how fast things are coming at you, you can’t control what you see and what you miss in split seconds, and you can’t control the car aside from steering it a little to the left or a little to the right.
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So, this morning as I sit by the sizzle of the fryer, I’m taking my foot of the pedal. Instead of racing full speed ahead to do errands by sitting in my car going through emails in the 10 minutes before the store opens so I can replenish items in the medicine cabinet and pantry before going home to do work, prepare for a weekend of activities, and catch up on bills, emails, chores.

I am here taking what might be an extra 20 minutes drinking coffee and planning out my day.

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Sometimes I need more convincing than others that I need to slow down. I used to get suck for months on end and then I realized if I just slowed down earlier I would not get so sick and lose months of time and energy at once. It’s all about efficiency for me. So now I find myself spinning my wheels some days. I have so much to do and no focus. I get lost in my work and not in a good way. In a way like those moments when you are driving and you look outside and think, “Where on earth am I and where am I going?”

I have a new app that has reminded me to slow down. It’s not some new age-y, hippie meditation app (I’ll get there some day but I need baby steps folks) , it just tells me to take a moment and plan my week or day. Any.do also let’s me know in the morning what my day looks like.

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If you work in an office maybe planning your day is second nature, company-wide practice, a ‘but of course’ thing. For me, an accidental freelancer I need reminders to plan, look at the big picture and prioritize my time.

How do you keep your life efficient?

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