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Slowing Down to Get More Down

Updated on May 12, 2019
Susan Lewis profile image

Susan is a successful insurance agent and writer. Between work and writing, she also spends her days as an advocate for human rights.

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Being more efficient with the time you have takes practice

Living in the 21st century has many advantages of days gone by. No one can dispute that this is the best time to be alive. Our opportunities are endless and available to anyone. We have a higher standard of living. We are earning higher wages for less hard work. We have access to unemployment insurance and disability income. There have been enormous strides and gains in the medical field. We have better education and housing. Our life expectancy is higher with a better quality of life.

With our smart phones and laptops, we have unlimited information and communication. You can talk to anyone, anywhere in the world, at any time of the day. Anyone can contact you and vice versa.

And therein, lies the problem — the onslaught of information coming at us, 24/7. Phones notify us of every email, tweet, Facebook notification, instant message, and texts.

The more active you are on social media increases the activity and demand for your attention. What you had hoped would make your life easier and more productive, also causes weariness. It pushes your stress levels higher. Every time your phone rings and each time your laptop chimes, you stop what you were doing to look. One more incomplete cycle has landed on your lap.

You end the day feeling that you were very busy, but didn’t get anything done.:

  • Your attention is on what isn’t completed.
  • We focus on what went wrong or isn’t done rather than what we did do.

Incomplete projects nag us. They stop us from enjoying the moment. They ping us, in the back of our minds. You know that pinging won’t stop until you complete the task. You’re trying to enjoy an evening out. You keep thinking about that phone call you still need to make or that email that has to be sent.

The notifications continue even with your phone muted. You know it’s there. You can see that annoying blinking light or you felt the vibration in your pocket or purse. Your attention immediately shifts to it and you know it will bother you until you look.

You need to slow yourself down mentally. That doesn’t mean you need to shut everything out. It means regaining control of your life. It means you focus ONLY on the task at hand and get it done before going onto the next one.

You are either running your life or it’s running you.

By slowing down, you’ll find your stress levels lowering. You’ll begin to have better and clearer conversations. You’ll be more present in the moment with a sense of focused directness.

Slowing down mentally helps you to lessen impulsive decisions and actions. Keep things in perspective and focus on one task instead of several. Finish each task before going on to the next. Make yourself breathe and relax. You’ll see that the master — high tech and phones — soon becomes the slave.

Workplace conflicts lessen as the hectic feeling of pressure dissolves. Slowing down and taking back control will empower you to do more with less stress.

I am at my most productive when I breathe, complete what I need to do and once done, quickly get to the next task.

It puts ME in control of my work rather than my work controlling me.

It’s all about perspective and actions.

© 2019 Susan Lewis

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    • Carolyn M Fields profile image

      Carolyn Fields 

      5 months ago from South Dakota, USA

      Excellent advice. Being distracted causes us to take MORE time on things.

      Also - you may want to fix your title . . .

      Get More Down . . . or Get More Done?

      Perhaps you did mean to get down . . . ?

      Anyway, I like the concept.

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