Take Time to Slow Down Each Day

By Jessica Mitchell

Today I’m returning to work after two months off with a newborn. It’s probably one of the most interesting transitions I’ve ever faced. Maternity leave was a wonderful experience, and I learned a lot about myself in those weeks. Balancing my career, hobbies, small business and family before having a child wasn’t necessarily easy, but the busy pace of my life never really bothered me. However, after the birth of my son, I realized that intentionally slowing down, while still fulfilling my desires to work and learn, would require a new way of doing things.

Daily productivity is important, but so is enjoying the journey it takes to get there. Carl Honorédescribes this act of slowing down as “relearning the lost art of shifting gears, of moving from moments of busyness to moments of slowness. If you get the right balance, it can work wonders.”I’m hoping to implement a few of his tips to help best achieve that balance.

Single tasking instead of multi-tasking. By being more thoughtful with my hours each day, I hope to stay fully present with each day’s tasks. Focusing my energy on work when I’m there and concentrating my time on my family when I am with them.

Reading and reflection. Nothing helps me disconnect and grow professionally and personally like good reading material. Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey and several other successful business entrepreneurs follow the “Five Hour Rule” where they deliberately spend one hour per day during the week doing intentional learning. In that hour? Read, reflect and experiment are the choice ways to spend that time.

Maintaining healthy habits. Trying to sneak in at least 8 hours of sleep a night, taking time to prepare and enjoy food together with loved ones and exercising a few times each week are at the top of my list. I’m aware it’s a lofty goal with a new baby, but I hope that understanding its importance will help me to prioritize it when possible.

Which brings me to one of my favorites: saying no sometimes. It takes a lot of confidence to trust yourself to know what is the healthiest way to spend your free time. Cheers to guilt-free decision making about your time! We all deserve that.

Jessica Mitchell is the Marketing & Design Coordinator at Youth Resources.