5 Signs That It's Time to Slow Down
Updated: Jul 2, 2019
No matter who you are or what you do, in business and life, productivity feels good. We all want to progress, and it's easy to get carried away with moving quickly. While it seems counterintuitive, sometimes to be more effective and efficient, we need to slow down first.
For me, slowing down means packing less into my schedule and re-evaluating self-imposed deadlines. It means being intentional about taking time to just be, both by myself and with family and friends. It also means reflecting and connecting with myself on a deeper level, even if moving quickly and keeping busy is more comfortable.
I have become very mindful of the ebbs and flows of life, in the past few years, especially. Recognizing this pattern has made me appreciate ebbs at times, but generally, I prefer to be in flow. Intentionally slowing down can be difficult, but every time I resist it, I remember why it's so important. Slowing down has helped me make strategic decisions that have been crucial in my career. It's brought me to key realizations about myself to overcome personal challenges. Plus, I've learned firsthand that if you're not intentional about it, life will often throw you something that makes you slow down.
With this in mind, I'm sharing five signs that it's time to get intentional about slowing down:
1. You've experienced any type of significant life event. It might be a death, a break-up, a diagnosis, a move, or anything else that changes your world in a big way. We tend to want to move through these types of things quickly, as they can be uncomfortable to sit with. Depending on the circumstances, it can take time for you to feel ready to work through things, and that's ok. Just remember that no matter what, big life changes need to be processed eventually and this can't be rushed.
2. Your body is telling you to. Our bodies are great at sending messages, but learning to listen to them takes practice. Stress and imbalance manifest in the body in the form of illness and pain, which we might think of as a minor annoyance. Over time these signs can compound and result in serious health issues. The next time you feel unwell, instead of simply treating the symptom, ask yourself if it could be an indication that you need to slow down.
3. Things aren't working out. When none of the efforts you're making seem to be working, pushing through at full speed is not the answer. Taking a step back to look at what you could be doing differently will save you time, energy, and effort. It will also allow you to flow at a quicker pace and with greater ease, as opposed to trying to force success.
4. You're disconnected. It's possible to get so into the routine of being busy that you start to forget why you're doing it in the first place. Also, as you work towards your goals, your 'why' can shift and evolve. Feeling disconnected from yourself or your purpose is a telltale sign that you need to slow down and re-connect.
5. You feel 'off' and can't seem to pinpoint why. This one is a catch-all, but I want to cover all of the feels, from anxiety, to overwhelm, and de-motivation. When you experience these unpleasant feelings and don't know why - it's time to slow down to get to the bottom of it.
Think about where you are on the ebb and flow spectrum. Are there any signs that you may benefit from slowing down?