FCTB029: Why It’s Important To Slow Down and Take A Break

This week’s episode is about the importance of slowing down and taking a break. Sometimes we wear being constantly busy as a badge of honor. But remaining busy for too long and not slowing down runs us all the risk of burning out.

At some point, busy-ness isn’t as productive as perceived. When this happens, it is best to step back, take a break and re-energize. I’d like to compare our productivity and sanity to working out and muscle-building where rest is just as critical of a component to make it effective.

I will not be doing podcasts for a whole month, as I go on a break. I will be going on a vacation, to slow down and focus on an exciting project that you’ll hear about on this episode.

Today, I devoted the podcast to discuss the Why and How of slowing down and taking breaks.

Reasons to Slow Down:

  • It allows us to re-calibrate and deal with things from a new perspective, and an example of when the simplest fatigue gets to me (6:21).
  • Allows for personal reflection of our circumstances and needs and a story that illustrates how busy-ness preoccupies us from doing so (8:00).
  • Slowing down and taking a break lets us pay attention to certain facets of our lives to maintain balance (9:25).
  • Resting and taking breaks prevents us from constantly being in our heads, doing or thinking about something instead of being present and just enjoying the moment (10:43).
  • Stepping back permits us to be more effective, especially with routine or repeated tasks, and come up with a system or process to make things more efficient (11:44).

How to Slow Down?

  • Just take a break – it can be for a couple of minutes, days, or weeks (13:17).
  • Take vacations and step away from your daily routine (13:58).
  • Turn things down and say no when you have too much on your plate (14:23).
  • Give yourself more time to accomplish things, everything doesn’t have to be done right now (14:50).
  • Be an MVP – Minimally Viable Product – this isn’t necessarily the best, greatest, top of the line product, but it’s the one that gets the job done and keep things afloat (16:01).

It is often perceived that by taking breaks we lose time, when actually we’re gaining more time by doing so. I hope that this episode gives you something to ponder on especially if you’re always on-the-go.

Give yourself a break, breathe, and maybe be an MVP.

If you’re having serious withdrawal while I’m on break, you can find me on the blog and all over social media.

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Feeling Impatient is Your Cue to Slow Down

I was walking behind a woman this morning in a narrow hallway. She was walking so slow. In my head I’m thinking, “Why is she moving so slow?! Doesn’t she have anywhere to be?” I tried to speed up to maneuver around her. Fail. Luckily, she clearly noticed I was in hurry mode and moved to the side to let me pass. Thank goodness. Two seconds later I thought to myself, “Why are you in such a hurry, Charlene?” The interesting thing is that I really didn’t have to be in a hurry. I wasn’t running late or putting out the proverbial fire. I just wanted to get to where I was going and I didn’t see any reason why it should take so long.

We often find ourselves being impatient and for no particular reason at that. We want the car in front of us to speed up or the lady at the checkout line to scan faster. Go, go, go is our mantra. Time is money, so you better not take too long. What if those moments when the car in front of us is going 30 mph in a 50 mph zone or when the lady in the office building is walking like she’s taking a stroll along the beach are messages to us rather than inconveniences? What if they’re saying, “Slow down. Enjoy this moment”?

I’ve been working on balancing my chakras. I took a long walk with my dog yesterday. Normally I would have rushed through the walk. “I need to hurry up and get this over”. Yesterday I felt compelled to enjoy the walk, enjoy the sun, the wind and to enjoy spending the time with my dog. I felt led to enjoy my life. What I’m learning at this point in my journey is to relax and enjoy what I’m experiencing in each moment. Life already goes by fast enough yet we are so consumed with making it go even faster. Hurry up and get to work. Hurry up 5 o’clock so I can go home. Hurry up and have kids. I can’t wait until my kids graduate high school and I can have some time to myself.

There’s this never ending longing for the next moment and for the next phase of life. It’s natural to see growth and transformation in our lives. I teach about this often.  However, it’s also very necessary to enjoy every moment of the season we’re in. That season may find you husband-less, childless, money-less or waiting in line longer than you expected to. It’s still okay to enjoy it. In fact, it’s more than okay. It’s the best thing you could ever do for yourself and those around you.

As I am learning to balance my chakras I am also learning to balance the competing parts of me. There’s the part of me that wants to hurry up and get to where I’m going. On the other hand, there’s the part of me that wants to enjoy every moment of my life. The next time I am feeling impatient, frustrated, and moody because my fast food isn’t fast enough or because there’s a slowmobile taking forever in front of me I will take it as my cue to slow down. I will take it as my cue to enjoy this moment.