Five Tips to Help You Slow Down
By Brian Wesolowski
In Sarah’s book, The Art of Grace, she notes that ease is not always something easy to master, but instead, it requires ongoing practice. Yes, grace, which at its core is about ease, is not something that necessarily comes naturally, but we can all practice living more gracefully. One way Sarah suggests we do this is to “slow down and plan.” Of course, this is easier said than done, especially as we’re pulled in multiple directions and constantly being pinged on our phones.
Are there some ways technology can actually help us slow down? Absolutely, especially if we remember that graceful technology shouldn’t take control of lives. Here are five tips for slowing down to achieve more grace:
Schedule time between meetings and appointments - Back-to-back-to-back-to-back. We have all booked our schedules like this before, but there is no possible way you can be graceful while rushing directly from meeting to meeting. Instead, build in some buffer time, and be sure to include realistic travel times. Generally, about 10-15 minutes between work meetings is enough to help you be better prepared and collect your thoughts. If you have a public calendar colleagues or family can see, put those buffer times in there so they aren’t just scheduled over. There are also numerous apps that can help with better scheduling.
Download a meditation or mindfulness app - In a previous post, we highlighted a few meditation apps and online tutorials that can help bring greater clarity, calm, and compassion. Making these apps a daily part of your routine can remind you to slow down, breathe, and re-center.
Check your email and social media accounts at set times - The first step to successfully doing this is to manage your notifications on your phone. Apple’s “do not disturb” feature is an excellent way to help with this. You don’t need to know the second an email arrives, nor do you instantly need to know if someone retweeted you. Instead, set aside a few times each day to check your accounts. Scheduling your social media and email time allows you to have control over these communications and not the other way around.
Don’t overcommit - There is grace in knowing when to decline an invitation, whether for work or to see a friend. Being late is not graceful, nor is checking your phone for the time because you have another obligation. By not overcommitting, you’ll be more present and more graceful. Emails and text messages have made saying no to an invitation easy, but be sure to respond, and do so in a direct but kind way.
Keep it to one device at a time - Whether you’re watching television, playing a game on your phone, or working on your laptop, you’ll find more grace by only using one device at a time. It’s far too easy to get distracted by a text or derailed by an email from your boss if you have multiple devices demanding your attention at once. Slow down and focus on just one. And if you just can’t break your second screen habit, Mashable offers some solid advice on how to manage it.
As Sarah concludes in her book, there’s no way to be graceful when you’re rushing around haphazardly. Hopefully the above tips will help you slow down a bit and take more control of your schedule. It will bring more ease to your life and more grace to those around you.