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10 Ways to Slow Down

UPDATE: March 2020

The effects of COVID-19/coronavirus are forcing people to change the pace of their lives: self-isolation, quarantine, working from home, schools closed, and more. This is a post I wrote eight-years ago and their some good pointers as to how you can best make use of any enforced isolation.

Do you have days when you feel life is rushing by at breakneck speed? Maybe your whole life feels that way. Here are 10 ways to slow it down and help you keep things in perspective:

Stop multi-tasking.

Computers multi-task by doing several things at once When people try to multi-task, they end up doing everything poorly.

Turn off your screens, including your television.

Try going for a full week without turning the TV on. Put aside time everyday where your smaller screens -phone, tablet, computer- are turned off. You will discover that you suddenly have a lot more leisure time.

Ignore the telephone.

You don’t have to answer it every time it rings. If the phone interrupts you in the midst of doing something, let the answering machine pick it up. Most of the calls will be from telemarketers anyway.


Do it for a while; a half hour. Don’t do anything else. Just relax and let your mind drift. If you start obsessing about your job or worrying about tomorrow, stop and refocus on relaxing.

Listen to music.

Don’t make music merely background noise to another task. Sit and listen to music without doing anything else.

Keep a journal.

Take a few minutes each day to write your thoughts. Describe something that happened to you that day. You will develop a better understanding of yourself.

Take up a hobby.

Do you like to paint, take photographs, restore cars? Why not do it now Lose yourself in your passion.

Have some quality recreation time:

with your kids, your partner, a friend or your dog. Whether playing tag in the yard, going for a walk or even video games with your children, have some fun.

Have a conversation.

Head out to the coffee shop with a friend Take the time to really listen to someone else, to hear their thoughts and share yours.

Live life.

Pay attention to what you’re doing. Don’t gobble down your meal as you rush to your next commitment. Take time to savour and enjoy. As you drive from one appointment to the next, enjoy the view—even in an industrial park. Look for things you’ve never noticed  before. Get the most out of everything you do.