Top 10 Reasons Why You Should Slow Down
Why Slow Down?
In today’s fast-paced world we don’t always take the time to slow down. We live frenzied lives at a furious rate, all the while scrambling to keep up with the world as it hurries swiftly past us.
We race to get up and get ready in the morning. Then hurry to work, and are hurried at work. We sprint home, rush through dinner, and we're on our way out the door again to career through some social activity. We scamper home and shoot off to bed in the hopes that the few hours left to us will provide enough sleep, before we have to get up again, to give us the energy we need to do it all over again the next day.
From nervous disorders to an early grave, the consequences of living the modern hectic lifestyle can be serious! Here are my top ten reasons why you should slow down:
10. Hurrying makes you tired.
You’ve been there I’m sure. Your entire day is frantic from the time your alarm clock goes off until you finally lay your head down to sleep. Getting ready for work, driving through traffic, trying to keep up with what your boss wants, rushing through those after work errands, grabbing a bite to eat while trying to help the kids with their homework and catching up on anything else that should have been done yesterday. With whirlwind days such as these you don’t get any downtime. No downtime means your batteries are not getting recharged. Add to that the fact that many of us don’t get enough sleep, and you have a recipe for a nervous break down. Slow down. Take some time for a rest. You might be surprised at how much you get done after taking a much-needed break.
9. You to do sloppy work when you hurry.
When I was young my dad used to like to quote something that his co-worker used to say, “The hurrier I go, the behinder I get.” He told me a story about one day when he and his friend were so far behind on their work route that they decided to give up trying to hurry and just take their time and enjoy what they were doing. Not only did they get everything done, they got done early!
The more you rush the more likely you are to make mistakes. Slow down and do things right. Make a plan for your work ahead of time. Less mistakes means less work since you won’t have to do things over if you do them right the first time.
Take Your Time
8. Hurrying is bad for your digestion.
“Chew your food properly!” I can’t tell you how many times I was told that as a child. I can remember my eating habits being compared to those of a dog. A dog will gulp down its food without chewing it. Dogs have teeth primarily for biting not for chewing. They also have a digestive system that can handle it. As humans digestion begins in the mouth. As we chew our food our saliva coats it with enzymes that help our stomach to digest it later. When we eat quickly we don’t take the time to chew our food hindering our digestion. Slow down. Don’t deny yourself the nutrients that are in the food that you are swallowing. And while you’re at it, how about eating less junk food.
You Made A Bad Decision
7. You make bad decisions when you hurry.
Salesmen know that when you hurry you are likely to make decisions that you wouldn’t otherwise make. That’s why they don’t want you to take the time to think things over or discuss them with someone else. If you take the time to think things over you might realize that it is a bad decision, and they might lose their sale. Hurrying effects other decisions as well. You might end up over committing yourself or getting involved in something that you should not have been involved with at all. Maybe you don’t know enough about a certain opportunity yet to make the right choice. Slow down. Take the time to find out all the pertinent details before making a decision. Spending a little time on the decision making process now can save you money and even heartache later.
6. Hurrying causes accidents.
Not a lot of explanation needed for this one. If you are late getting somewhere, ask yourself whether it would be any faster to have to go to the hospital first, or to have to fill out an accident report with the police if your hurrying causes you to drive unsafely. How many workplace accidents could be avoided just by people slowing down and paying attention to what is going on around them? How many highway deaths could be avoided by just slowing down? Slow down. Pay attention to your surroundings. Stay safe.
This Guy Has No Stress
5. Hurrying causes stress.
I used to deliver auto parts when I was a teenager. I can remember getting so mad at the people driving slow in front of me that I would lose my temper. The stress made the job displeasing even though driving was one of my favorite things to do. I remember talking about it with a friend of mine who was a cop in New York City. He asked me if I was speeding when I made my deliveries. When I answered yes he told me to try sticking to the speed limit. I gave it a try and found that once I stopped my hurrying, I once again enjoyed driving (and my job). This is just as true in other areas of our lives. Slow down. Don’t let stress rob you of the joy of living.
4. Hurrying causes anxiety.
This point follows closely with the last one. The more you hurry the greater your anxiety level. Worrying is another habit that robs you of your joy. You can’t be happy when you are constantly worried about something. There are a host of diseases that are made worse by anxiety. In fact worrying directly causes some disorders. Slow down. In the words of Bobby McFerrin, “Don’t worry, be happy.”
Don't Worry Be Happy
Take Time To Be With Others
3. You don’t consider others when you hurry.
Ever stop to consider how selfish we can become when we are in a hurry? You’ve got something that you want to get done, and then a friend calls to talk about a problem that they are having. You listen, but as you listen you are looking for a good stopping point where you can tell them that you’ve got to go now. When you hurry other people become an annoyance. You begin to see people as sponges that rob you of your time and energy. Slow down. Realize that giving your time and yourself to others is rewarding. You might find that you gain more than you give away.
Enjoy What You Have And What Is Around You
2. You don’t enjoy what you have when you hurry.
When you rush through something it is almost impossible to enjoy what you are doing. Picture a tourist who wants to visit all fifty states in the U.S., but only has two weeks of vacation. Mathematically speaking, he has to visit three to four states every day in order to make it to all fifty states. With the amount of time this traveler has to spend driving and sleeping during those two weeks, as well as the great distance involved, this tourist is not going to spend much time sightseeing. What joy does our traveler get out of this trip besides being able to say that they did it? They would be better off picking four or five states that they had never been to and spending several days in each. This way they would have the time to enjoy what they are doing. They could always save the states they missed for other vacations. Maybe it could be a yearly tradition to add a few more states to their list. This way they can look forward to each new trip as they think back on the rich memories that they have made in the years before. Slow down. Enjoy the moment. What do you have right now that you appreciate?
Remember What Is Truly Important
1. Hurrying makes you miss out on what is truly important.
My number one reason to slow down is so that you don’t miss out on the most important things in life. What is your relationship to God? How much time do you spend building that relationship. What about your family? How much time do you spend with your spouse? What about your children? How about your parents and your siblings? Have you lost touch? And of course life can get very lonely without friends. Are you building these relationships by spending time on them? How much of your time have you spent on others? Slow down. Find out who is really important to you and spend your time with them. Don’t miss out on what life is really about just because you were in too much of a hurry to live it.
What Is Most Important To You?
What Is Most Important To You?
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Truman Capote once described himself as a “completely horizontal author” who wrote his best works lying down, often with a cigarette or sherry in hand. Most of us don’t have the luxury of working on our backs.
© 2013 Eric Calderwood