Slowing Time Down

“There’s not enough time in the day…”
“How can you do all that at once?”
“I could do that if I had just a little more time…”

Time… am I right? We’ve all been there. Feeling overwhelmed, stressed, and like there just isn’t enough time in the day. As a chronic overachiever, I can tell you I’ve defniitely questioned myself if I’m stretching too thin. Over the years, I feel like I’ve figured a few things out… and yes, some of that means setting boundaries and saying ‘no’… but some of it is just good skills and a little mindfulness! So here it is: A Type “A” personality’s guide to slowing time down.

Take a Breath

It’s not always easy, but this is really the first step in slowing time down. When you are feeling like there’s enough time, likely your brain has hopped into overdrive. If you’re anything like me, the thoughts are racing and there’s not even room to think of anything else. Trying any other techniques in this moment? It won’t be effective. So start by coming back to your breath. One good way to do this is by square breathing. Find this technique here.

Prioritize

Now that we’re back in the here-and-now, let’s take the first step to slowing things down. That bunch of jumbled thoughts in your head? Let’s deal with them. I like to start by making a big list (my boyfriend can tell you, sometimes these lists get scary). From there, mark with a star things that need to be done, mark with a dash things that could be done, and cross out things that can wait. We don’t even want to deal with them. By creating a straightforward list, you can more effectively set your way towards accomplishing a goal.

Take little bites

The best way to make progress in a day is by creating a sense of achievement. Start with a small goal, something you can do easily, this sort of goal can help you feel more motivated for the rest of your day.

Set an intention & A routine

Here’s the biggy. Start each day with an intention. It could be something that varies, or something that stays. For me, I usually use the affirmation “I am a strong and confident woman.” This was a lesson I learned during a highschool cross country practice, and it’s really stuck with me. Humans have a predictive nature… our attitudes tend to lead to what will happen in the end. So starting with an affirmation can start you off on the right direction. Finally, a routine helps us to speed up time by making the most of the little moments. If you already have a set plan, it allows for a little bit of chaos to slip in.

Become mindful of wasted time

Have you ever thought of the seconds that tick by throughout the day? I mean every, single, moment. There’s a lot of them! And it turns out we spend a lot of time wasting them. For instance, the 10 minutes you spend in bed looking at your phone? The time you spend sitting at the table after a meal? The time we spend complaining about how much time we don’t have? All of these moments could be valuable. For me, when I realized how much I relied on my smart phone to pass the time, I realized this was all time I could be doing something more productive… even if that something was just being. There are all kinds of apps out there to help track time used on your phone, it can be an illuminating exercise!

Find some time for self care

This one I don’t think I can say enough. I think the biggest time killer has to be burnout. One of my favorite quotes has always been, “Whatever you are, be a good one.” Well it’s hard to be an effective “good one” if you don’t have any energy. Those extra moments that we find with creating more time in time previously wasted can be a great time to add in some self-care. Whether it’s time with a loved-one, an extra bubble bath, 10 minutes on the treadmill, or even just time with your breath, self-care is so important and can change every part of your day. While this may seem like more of a time-waster than a creator, I promise building it in to your day will expand the time.

Where do you find spare time throughout the day? Engage with me in the comments! Let’s help each other out on this journey.

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