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Simple Everyday Tips For Slow Living And A Longer Life

Simple Everyday Tips For Slow Living And A Longer Life

Have you noticed that the years seem to pass faster, and seasons change sooner? That days have become shorter, and we live at a quicker pace despite longer years? Have you noticed how slow movies from the ’50s and ’60s are? We now live faster, think faster, and act faster than we used to. We have managed to develop an environment around us that has become faster than the human mind. Now we have to run despite the initial intention to build time-saving robots so we could enjoy more of our lives. It is time to slow down. It is time for slow living.

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    The concept of slow living is a lifestyle approach that suggests slowing down everyday life for a longer and better-quality life. Slow living makes us more healthy, there is less stress, a better quality of relationships and increased well-being. The good news is we can control this 100%. Here are 6 simple tips for slowing down everyday life.

    1. Don’t do things you don’t want to and cannot do.

    We all have habits that are just that—habits. But we really don’t have to do those things. Examples are getting a manicure, going to the solarium, ironing, shopping, watching TV, browsing the internet, smoking, and so forth. We can save time and money by cutting these out, and many of these habits are also bad for our health. Ask yourself some simple questions: Do I really have to do this? How can I skip this task/step/activity if I don’t like it?

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    2. Do one thing at a time.

    Multi-tasking makes us nervous, and the day rushes by when we do it. If we drive then we should just drive: no phone calls, no learning another language, no planning and thinking. Instead, you can enjoy driving: listening to the motor and your heart beat, looking out the window and living in the moment.

    3. Choose less noise.

    We are too used to noise—the TV and radio are on, but nobody listens to or watches them. Phones beep, iPads dong and mail notifications ring. Why not just turn them off?

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    4. Go offline.

    We are connected all the time. We are available 24/7. And we are distracted 24/7! Who said we should answer all phone calls, messages and emails at once? Why can’t they wait until the appropriate time? Turn on the internet and your phone for a certain amount of time a day, connect with others and then simply switch off. We won’t lose business if we don’t answer at once, but we might lose out for sure if we interrupt our work flow on one task to answer somebody else.

    5. Choose lighter and slower ring tones and music around you.

    Have you ever noticed how stressful your ringing phone is? Try to use a different ring tone and life will be more pleasant. Relaxing music and classical music always help between stressful meetings and during short drives from one busy spot to another. We breathe in the rhythm of the music. If we breathe slower, our heart beats slower and peace settles over our body.

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    6. Enjoy details.

    Use waiting time, not for stressful thinking, but for simple observations and enjoying details. Have you noticed how beautifully the car wash water dances down the windscreen? And how reflections change in the mirror during a traffic jam? When was the last time you smelled the roses? Or the last time you just looked into the eyes of your child? Have quality time with the people you love. It is much better to have 10 minutes of full attention with your kids than the whole day running around with them from one spot and activity to the other. When was the last time you were all dining at the table together without screens and distractions?

    “In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.”

    Abraham Lincoln

    Drive slowly. Eat slowly. Listen carefully. Enjoy the moment. Taste and touch, and live life consciously.

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    Last Updated on December 2, 2018

    How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

    How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

    Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

    The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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    The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

    Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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    Review Your Past Flow

    Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

    Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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    Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

    Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

    Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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    Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

    Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

    We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

    Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

      Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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