12 Simple One-Sentence Tips for Slowing Down
With Productivity Boosts as the Natural Consequence
As writer Anne Lamott famously said: “Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.” I know this to be true in my bones.
I’m a notorious plate-spinner. At times graceful and propulsive, I do meet my outer bounds and stretch beyond them sometimes. Dopamine reserves crash. Burnout ensues. If I miss those cues, I get stressed and detached. Not cute. My wellness, relationships, my whole Self start to suffer.
Add to that the context we’re in of geopolitical and market turbulence, injustice and corruption, and whipsaw news always ratcheting up the sense of upheaval and divisiveness. That alone’s enough to burn us out. We have a so-called “mental surge capacity” that can only take so much.
This is when it’s high time to look to and resource our Life Force. But how?
Here’s 12 Simple One-Sentence Tips for Slowing Down, whether for its own sake, or in the aim of working better again.
Seek out boredom: sit still until you itch to check your phone, then don’t, and don’t again.
Start or nurture a meditation practice: start small, even five minutes, if you’re new to it.
Next meal, count how many chews you average per bite, and try doubling it.
Next time you’re in line at the market or waiting for the metro, open your ears up wider; notice sounds in the background and tug them to the forefront.
If you watch TV, next time you’re there, remote in hand, pause for a couple minutes and just stare at the black mirror of the screen before pressing “on.”
Once a day, for an idle 30 minutes, take your phone out, turn it off, put it on a high shelf somewhere.
Do a 10-minute Non-Sleep Deep Rest (NSDR) practice such as this one guided by Dr. Andrew Huberman.
Think of an album you used to love, find it, and listen to it front to back, doing nothing else.
Force a one-day sabbatical from your most sticky distractive habit, whether it’s scrolling, bingeing, gaming, or whatever.
Better yet, follow this guide to reset your phone so you’re not beholden to its bells and whistles.
Start or nurture a journaling practice: even ten minutes of putting thoughts through pen to paper clears the airwaves and adds spaciousness to your experience.
If you don’t habitually read, pick up a good fiction book.
The last one was a game changer for me. Until my mid-30s, I was much more a nonfiction guy. Reading fiction has been shown to have tons of benefits, including improving empathy and social perception, as well as reducing stress and increasing overall mental well-being. Many of these benefits are what burnout can scrape away.
So, what are you waiting for, give one or all a try. Tell me what works, or what other tips you use for slowing down.
Until next week,