I've spent the last 5 months away from a 9 to 5 office setting. I’ve enjoyed making my own schedule, typing in my pjs and pottering about the house while doing and trying to make sense of things. While I've missed the chatter and having colleagues around me, I have learned one very important thing.
You see, I'm typically a fast worker. In fact, I do a lot of things quickly. From writing reports to talking/eating/drinking to decision-making. I do them fast. I give each task my fullest attention and aim to do it as fast as I can. No idea why. I'm the complete opposite of my partner who's calmer, more patient and at ease with the passage of time. He's the tortoise and I'm the hare. And we know who won the race...
My own coach used to say, "Where are you rushing to?" I still don't have an answer to that question.
But these last few months have taught me the value of SLOWING DOWN.
Self-employment can be liberating but also daunting because you suddenly realised you gotta do everything on your own. No one to remind you and no one will mind the time for you. Hustle. Push through if you want to see results.
Gah. It was exhausting. That’s when I learned I really need to find my own pace. Because if I don't, then I'm heading straight into my own burnout. Again. That would be ironic for a burnout recovery coach.
Slowing down isn't dropping everything on your plate. It's about taking a quick pause every so often to give yourself some headspace and room to breathe when things are hectic.
It's about taking one step back to check-in how you're doing (and if you're all right with it). In fact, it's time we stop measuring our currency in speed and how much you can do it a short amount of time. Life is not and should not be about how fast you go.
There're tons of ideas out there on how to slow down. Here are some practical ones I've personally used:
1. Sit down and eat. Actually, enjoy your meal without distractions or feeling like you need to rush back to work. One of my favourite things I enjoyed with colleagues before was bringing our lunchboxes, sitting together to eat, catching up on things and giggling. The world isn't going to fall apart because you took the time to enjoy your lunch.
2. Find ways throughout the day to disconnect. Particularly away from your gadgets. Yes, that means putting your phone away at dinner or when you're with friends. Need help? Try Self Control and Moment apps.
3. Dump your fear of missing out by intentionally cutting down on activities that put pressure on you or your schedule. For example, we're often conditioned to pack our holiday with sights to see, restaurants to visit, friends to see etc. Try and do less. Slow down. Practice JOMO.
4. Practice a lil 'dolce far niente' or what is commonly known as the 'sweetness of doing nothing'. It's high time we stop equating doing nothing with being lazy. It is not. Doing nothing is savouring stillness. Doing nothing is being kind to your body and mind. Doing nothing is giving YOU a chance to reset, rest and rejuvenate.
Now that you’ve read this there is no hurry to get it all correct. Start with one thing. Find ways that work for you. Try and try again.
As an example, I'm still working on rushing less and slowinggggg down more. I'm a work-in-progress. The more I think about where I am rushing to, the more I realise nowhere. Maybe being here and enjoying now is what it's all about.
Have a SLOW day.
PS: Interested to know what else you can do to slow down and manage your burnout? Sign up for our FREEBIE for a simple list of micro actions you can take today. Super easy! OR check out our services on offer.