Have you ever gotten the impression that your life just flies by in front of your eyes? Your projects, ambitions, and activities consume your entire days without pauses? Your goals devour your energy and you forget simple things like your friend’s birthday? That’s when it’s time to slow your life down.
In the 21st century, many high performers suffer from a lack of balance.
Traders work 80 hours a week. Scientists dedicate their entire existence to that one world-changing project. And entrepreneurs eat, drink, and breathe business ventures.
Some people live fast – without relishing the moment – but not me. I always take the time to enjoy the simple things in life.
That’s what most of us say to ourselves. But is it really the case?
6 ways to know when it’s time to slow your life down
A lack of balance is often apparent to everyone but the concerned person. That’s why we need to measure our life’s balance with basic, everyday joys.
On this basis, here are 6 ways to know when it’s time to slow your life down.
You feel too busy for daily stillness and mindfulness
Ask yourself: when was the last time you sat down and meditated?
When was the last time you enjoyed some well-deserved me-time?
And finally, when did you last take a moment to engage in total stillness?
Daily sessions of mindfulness have innumerable benefits.
Nevertheless, most people simply do not find the time to implement them. That’s when you should re-evaluate your daily rhythm and carve out 10 minutes of stillness.
There are many ways to solve this predicament.
Meditate right after getting up. Add a few minutes of stillness to your lunch break. Or simply take the time to reflect on your day before going to bed.
You lose sight of your global professional journey
Amid our professional zest, we sometimes forget to ask ourselves what kind of ladder we’re climbing.
We work long hours, constantly up our targets, and fervently chase professional milestones.
But do we agree with the grand scheme of our professional journey? Is this the right corporate ladder?
Once you lose sight of these essential questions, it’s time to slow your life down. If you’re unsure about the purpose of spending twelve hours a day in your office, you probably need a break.
Sometimes, working a highly reputed corporate job is like owning your childhood dream car. It looked great on your bedroom wall, but it’s not fun to drive.
You never have “do nothing” spells
Many productivity gurus slam the prospect of “do nothing” spells.
You need to utilize every single minute of your days. Life is too short for chilling. And you should, under no circumstances, spend one more hour in bed.
I disagree with those statements. I believe that sometimes, doing nothing can lead to more productivity.
How can we achieve more by purposely losing time?
Simple, we don’t lose time. We deliberately choose to recharge our batteries during these lost stretches. And when you feel too busy to recharge from time to time, you know that it’s time to slow your life down.
There are two main factors when it comes to implementing these “do nothing” spells.
First, they should be sporadic.
If you start to take off two hours every day for no reason whatsoever, you’re recharging a bit too much. Oh, and your boss will probably have a word later on.
Secondly, they should go in between highly productive spells.
In this context, these lazy periods can be compared to Japanese power naps, the “inemuri”.
In most large Japanese companies, employees can use sleeping pods to nod off for around 20 minutes after lunch.
These power naps keep employees fit and motivated without taking too much time away from the busy corporate schedule.
You can’t find time to love passionately
If you’ve experienced a deep, passionate connection to another person, you know how important it is to keep the fire burning.
Once it’s extinguished, it will become very hard to re-ignite the deep connection you once had.
That’s why you should slow down your life before your relationship suffers irreparable damage.
Spend an entire Sunday in bed if you have to. Surprise your significant other with a novel activity. And don’t try to have too many irons in the fire.
Prioritize your relationship before your other priorities suffocate the passion you once had.
Long conversations with friends become rare
The presence of long conversations with friends is another great indicator of your life’s balance.
Old friends remind you of many things. They knew you before you were your current self. And they generally know your strengths, weaknesses, and character traits.
As such, they have a 360-degree vision on your journey.
That’s why you should safeguard and savor these conversations instead of sacrificing them for short-term busyness.
You don’t reflect on your personal goals and projects
“We do not learn from experience. We learn from reflecting on experience.” – John Dewey
Finally, the best way to know when it’s time to slow your life down is to measure your rate of self-reflection.
Self-reflection is a powerful tool and an essential component of any personal growth endeavor.
Without reflecting on your goals, projects, hopes, and fears, you’ll always chase abstract concepts rather than tangible objectives.
As an example, if you work your job like a well-oiled machine without reflecting on how this job will shape your life, you become exactly that: a machine.
You’re chasing some kind of monetary, status-related, or professional goal, but you’re not ensuring long-lasting satisfaction.
After a while, you’ll feel empty. You’ll burn yourself out without a clear vision of your life’s trajectory.
That’s why self-reflection plays a major part in living a slow, but meaningful life.
Once you reflect on the choices you make, you start acting according to self-defined values and principles, not external cues.
And this thought pattern will help you live with more peace of mind, satisfaction, and happiness.
Useful links on How to Know When It’s Time to Slow Your Life Down
- more in the section “Life”
- more under the topic “Mindfulness”
- read 6 Mindful Ways to Slow Your Life Down
- read 7 Effective Habits That Make You a Calmer Person
Don’t miss a beat!
Jack Krier is a writer, photographer, and full-time globetrotter. Thanks to minimalism, he built his ideal lifestyle around travel and online entrepreneurship, becoming a digital nomad in the process. On Minimalist Focus, he shares his ideas on minimalism and lifestyle design, helping thousands of readers improve their lives by focusing on the essentials.