I was listening to National Public Radio the other day and the host was interviewing an Italian man who had been a busy, stressed out and unfulfilled executive. He sought the advice of a “life coach” and they fell in love and married. Then they started a movement to get people to, essentially, slow down.
On the surface it seems a bit silly; they sponsor races where the last person wins, grandparents reading poetry and stories to groups of children, giving out fake speeding tickets to people walking too fast, and other such activities.
I think they have a good point. We are busy, often overscheduled, and stressed because of it. We take pride in our ability to multitask. However, multitasking is inefficient and it usually takes more time to do things that way than if we did them sequentially due to shifting attention, reorienting and correcting mistakes, among other things. And thus, multitasking can lead to feeling even more harried. So slow down but take comfort in knowing that slowing down does not mean slacking off.
We have trouble living in the moment, enjoying what is happening “now” because we are usually thinking of what we have to do next, planning, organizing, etc. Experiment; try not multitasking. And begin to take at least a few minutes a day to pamper yourself with some “slow time.” Pretend you’re walking on sand and walk slower. Move slower. Notice things around you – a bee buzzing at the window, a cup, or doorknob or as your hand grasps it, the rich color of flowers blooming, patterns and textures and shapes of things low and high, noises loud and at the soft edge of your hearing.
Just…slow…down. Be…leisurely. And reap the health benefits of slowing down.