Slow down

For me the statement for 2023 is this “Slow down”.

I overheard the phrase randomly one day and suddenly I paused; Everything else went silent.

I am not sure what happened but I just got stuck on to that phrase. I started thinking, it’s already end of first quarter in 2023. What happened in the past 3 months? What happened today? I looked around as I was engulfed in my laptop throughout the whole day. I realised I really need to slow down.

What do I slow down?

“Slow down” had lot of implications. I started analysing everything for the next hour, not looking at a screen of course. I spent rest of the day with the family and didn’t open my laptop or browse mobile. I went to sleep like that. I woke up next morning and..things were fine. The article that I had to finish reading, the side project or the few changes in work - they were all fine.

So, what was the rush?

It was not just rush, it was lack of control. You don’t want to be rushed by the stream, you want to navigate it and float as you want. Take pitstops as you need.

There were lot of items pushed in the todo list. Lot of things that were being done in parallel - always jumping from one to next meanwhile queueing the next many. There was no slow down - ideal recipe for burnout.

I started looking at things I need to get done. I cut down things that are not vitally important. I prioritised no screen time with folks around me. I accepted that I can’t complete many things and it is okay. What matters I don’t lose control of my time.

I made myself get reminded often not to such on a problem/task and lose myself over it. I made sure I take breaks and be present. If I am stuck on something I just accepted am stuck and just moved it to next day or next block of focus time. All the pending procrastinated list was brushed up and taken again. I started to write. I made sure I read more. I took time to think about the upcoming days. I made sure I am doing all chores that I need to get done - off the laptop and mobile that is.

But most of all, I took pauses.

I paused to walk around. I paused to look outside and just be there. I paused to check up on family often throughout the day. I made sure, I paused.

It turned out to be very important. You need to know where you are now. Only then you can plan for where you want to be. You may not have the folks around when you reach where you want to be, so make sure you be with them too.