Five reasons to slow down

5 Reasons to slow down

(out of a possible million and three)


I have just emerged from a season of bad diary management. I don’t have a Personal Assistant to blame this on. I (mis) manage my own diary. My ideal schedule has a nice pace- some work, some play, lots of people time, a bit of down time, being at home, venturing out and about… lots of good things, all in moderation. It hasn’t looked like that lately- it has looked like a big old blurry mess, and I have had to do practically nothing for a while to recover. Boom and bust.

As a result I have some nice life lessons to share, guru-style, so that you dear reader, can leap over the pit of burn out like a graceful gazelle.

These are my top five reasons for slowing down. If you don’t slow down:

  1. Your body will punish you

Slow down or your body will make you. Over-busyness means tense muscles, raised blood pressure, interrupted sleep, headaches, and poor digestion. At the start of last week, I felt terminally exhausted; so tired I wanted to weep if I could have done so without effort. We need to listen to our physical matter when it complains otherwise it might shut down on us and technology isn’t ready to upload us into cyberspace (btw- don’t watch Transcendence- AWFUL movie).

  1. You’ll miss smelling the coffee and roses

My dad and I were in such an intense conversation last night that we ate a bowlful of strawberries each and didn’t notice a single mouthful. When we had finished, my dad said he was ready for his strawberries now, and where were they. Lots of the best things in life are easily overlooked when we get too busy.

  1. You’ll start doing things badly

Maybe I shouldn’t project my limitations on you, but I know that when I try and do too much at the same time I start to blow things. What I tend to start doing badly is relationships, particularly with my girlies, because they still love me and seem to be raising themselves pretty effectively. Not cool.

4.You’ll lose touch with God

So I know Bill Hybels was famously “too busy not to pray” but when I am too busy I don’t pray. Maybe that is why he leads a mega church and I don’t. There’s a danger busyness crowds out fragile shoots of spiritual growth.

5.You’ll forget who you are

I have not had a burn out or anything close, but after my busy few weeks I felt empty, flat, hollow and useless. I had become almost entirely external and when I stopped to catch my breath there was not a whole lot going on inside. Life needs to be lived at a speed that allows us tobe as well as do.

What kind of speed is your engine running at? What are the warning signs that let you know you are pushing yourself too hard? How do you slow down?