Slow living is all about being in the moment. Slowing down and enjoying the small things. When we talk about productivity though, it’s all about pushing yourself, maximizing your efforts and squeezing tasks into every minute of your day. So how do these two things go together?
It may sound crazy but they do. A slow living approach to productivity is about being more aware of your needs and how you work best. It’s making conscious decisions about how you plan your day.
My opinion about productivity has changed ever since I started to learn more about the concept of slow living. Before, productivity, for me, meant being constantly busy and crossing off as many tasks as possible during the day. I did this to such an extent it had a negative impact on my health. Even after working 15 hours I still felt like I am not doing enough or I should be further ahead. Now, being productive means working less but with more intention and focus.
And here are the actions you need to take in order to make this possible.
Set your intention
If you often feel lost and like you don’t know what you’re doing, it might be because you’ve lost your “why” out of sight. Knowing why you’re doing something, and I am talking about the long term here, is what keeps you on track.
But it’s not only about the long term. It also helps to set your intention for the day. Start your morning off right. Journaling is a great tool to do this. It helps to clear your mind and approach your day with positive thoughts. Knowing exactly what you want to accomplish.
Related post: The benefits of journaling
If you want to work less you really need to pay attention to yourself and listen to your body. You need to get your work done when you’re most focused. Every task is easier to handle when you’re in the right headspace and you can pay your full attention to it. To do so, you have to find a schedule which works for you. You need to know when you’re most focused during the day and when it’s better to take a break and disconnect.
When you realize how much you can get done during a session of high-focused work compared to the work you do while running on empty, you’ll be surprised. It’s a hard change to make though. Pushing ourselves over our own limits and not taking breaks to recharge our energy has often become a habit which is difficult to break. But you slowly get better at it if you listen to your body.
Related post: How to find your creative flow
Now, this seems like a classic productivity tool and it actually is. But knowing which tasks are important is the first step to making conscious decisions about your routine. Doing less means you have to clarify what to focus on and what to let go off. If you want to slow down your hustle, you have to say “no” a lot of times. This shouldn’t make you feel bad. Because you say “no” to some things in order to say “yes” to what’s really important to you. You can make much more impact by focusing on fewer things.
Give yourself space
Slowing down your busy schedule means you can’t plan out every minute of your day. You need to leave some space to take breaks and disconnect. And you also need space to catch up on things which didn’t get done or took longer than you thought.
Schedule your time generously and even plan some extra time. It’s always better to finish early than to run behind. You’ll see this instantly reduces stress.
Living more in the moment isn’t only a reminder to stop and smell the roses. Being in the moment is a lot about cutting down distractions and focusing on one thing at a time. This is the perfect productivity hack. You can get done more if you’re not constantly switching gears between several things. Same goes for trying to be everywhere at the same time. Multi-tasking doesn’t work for tasks which need your full attention. You might be able to listen to an audiobook while folding laundry but most tasks are better done while being fully present.
These 5 things helped me to get actually more done by working less. What are your tips for slowing down?