Slow Life Down

At work today I was chatting with some colleagues and the topic of time passing so quickly came up. A prime example of that was this year and how the hell it’s only 12 weeks until Christmas 2013. It got me thinking about ways in which I could slow down time. Not literally but seemingly.

Modern live with all of our new technology are meant to save us time but instead we have become obsessed with them and as a result life can simply pass us by as we stare at our phone screen or browse the www, I realise the irony of typing this while sitting at a laptop but these new shiny gadgets are exciting and fill us with moments of entertainment. In my experience this enjoyment is fleeting and eventually lead me to questions like; What else could I be doing with my time that is more productive and meaningful.

I am not entirely sure that it has to be like this so I’ve come up with some new approaches which I am going to try and integrate into my daily life.

For this slow life to work I am going to have to take the time to enjoy my mornings, get up an hour earlier and sit with my own thoughts and have some breakfast and coffee. Too long have I woke up, run into the shower and then right out the door with toast in my hand. I’ll have to be in the moment and mindful instead of letting my mind wander off worrying about work and what I don’t have or what I do have. I’ll get back out running and into the outdoors to just be and enjoy everything the world would have to offer if all of the gadgets and conveniences were to disappear.

This is a decision I am taking and I am sure it’ll lead to a happier and more fulfilling life. Not that I am not happy but I reckon I could be even happier if I follow these simple steps.

The plan

1. Clear the diary. It’s in my nature to want to be busy, I get bored easily but I am going to make a choice to cut out a lot of activities that I used to do. I don’t mean catching up with Friends and Family, I mean looking at my phone, watching television or looking at the internet. I’ll focus on what’s really important, what really needs to be done, and let go of the rest.

2. Be in the moment. By this I mean pay attention to what you are doing, I often eat lunch and realise afterwards that I haven’t even tasted any of it, i’ve been that distracted by work or checking the news online. From now on I’ll stop to have a quiet moment in the day to enjoy what I am doing at present. Focus on your actions, on your environment, on others around you. This will take practice but I reckon it’s vital.

3. Turn the phones etc OFF It’s simple, switch your phone or laptop off and don’t wonder if anyones been in touch, you deserve a break from it at points in the day.

4. Focus on people. I was at the pub with some mates, there was 5 of us, I looked around the table and not one of them were having a discussion. Instead they were playing games and on social media. What is going on??? If you are with a Friend or Family member surely you are there to see them? I’m going to stop and pay more attention, simply visiting someone is not enough if you can’t genuinely spare some time to pay attention to them.

5. Appreciate nature. There’s nothing more grounding than sitting in a forest or walking on a beach to make you realise that you are only an mammal on this earth. You might think that you control life and that we rule the world but in actual fact we are only here at Mother natures mercy. It’s really soul affirming to spend sometime getting back to nature.

6. Eat slower. Instead of cramming food down our throats as quickly as possible — leading to overeating and a lack of enjoyment of our food — learn to eat slowly. This is something I am definitely going to struggle with!

7. Find pleasure in anything. Whether it’s the housework or washing the car, try and find something enjoyable in what you are doing. Nobody likes to do the ironing or hoover the car out but why not do it with someone and make it fun, yes you are doing a task or chore but if you’re doing it with someone then it’ll be more fun.

8. Breathe. When you can feel that your blood pressure is rising and that you are getting slightly frantic, take a deep breathe and remember that most things in life are actually pretty trivial and often not as bad as they might seem.

Good luck!

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About Mark Cooper

My name is Mark Cooper, I am an ultra runner, motivational speaker, expedition consultant and public relations rookie. I help people achieve greatness in their lives. For bookings or more information you can email mark@runwithmark.com
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