When it comes to getting things done, I know how to rock a to-do list. I can write things down and check them off like a boss! But when it comes to getting important things done, I have to admit that sometimes I struggle to just begin. Can you relate?
It’s the ‘ol tyranny of the urgent scenario that gets me every single time.
These last few weeks have felt like that.
The kids have been in school for about six weeks, which means the grace period for being unprepared is over. By now they should be in a good routine, and by default, so should I. Why, then, do I feel like I’m falling behind with every passing day?
That got me thinking: Is there a way to SLOW DOWN time?
Everyone knows there’s two kinds of time: Fast Time and Slow Time.
Let’s break it down:
First, the Fast Time. Think of something you dread. For example: Going to the dentist, giving a presentation in front of a large crowd, or the time between when you drop the kids off at school and they’re back on your doorstep asking “What’s for dinner?”
You could also think of something you enjoy greatly: Being at the beach, the best night of sleep you’ve ever had, or a foot massage. During all these times you find yourself saying, “Time—please slow down!”
In contrast, there’s Slow Time, and that’s for things like doing a one minute plank at the gym or when you’re waiting for brownies to cook or for an acceptance letter for your dream job to arrive.
Overall, though, as you get older, all time begins to act like fast time. Someone once explained it to me this way: “Time is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer you get to the end, the faster it goes.”
We can’t change our lives by making more time, but we can change our perception of it.
When you’re doing something new or focusing on what you’re doing, you actually can slow down how your brain perceives time.
I don’t want my life to slip away, but I do need to get stuff done.
And chances are you do too because if you’re anything like me, when you’re feeling rushed, you tend to get less done rather than more. And the things you are getting done have the tendency to be the most pressing rather than the most important. I have found that when I’m feeling rushed, I substitute my normal “focus on what I’m doing” rituals with poor substitutes that lack any sort of conscious processing whatsoever.
Instead of eating breakfast, doing my daily devotion, and spending time on morning pages, I find I do a quick workout at home, snack all morning, and then scroll through social media at five minute intervals throughout the day because I didn’t plan a solid chunk of time for getting my real work done. With no space for creativity, I end up filling these dead minutes with distractions.
What if there were one ritual I could do that would set the tone for the whole day?
Is there something I’m missing that would summon the rest and peace I crave?
Hey, friend, let’s make a pact this week to SLOW DOWN time.
I’m getting up in time to do morning work (i.e. plan the day, eat breakfast, devotion, and journal)—even if I have to trick myself into thinking I’ll get fired if I don’t show up for my own life. Hey, I can always fire myself!
And I’m JUST SAYING NO to distractions. Are you with me? No more scroll. Don’t be fooled—you can get a lot done in five minutes (Read a few pages of a book you’ve downloaded, open the Bible app, pack the dishwasher, transfer a load of laundry to the dryer, make the bed, or write a quick “I’m thinking about you” text to a friend.”)
If I would have known that Intentionality was the secret sauce for slowing down time, I could have saved myself a lot of wasted minutes. And I know what you’re thinking, “That’s so obvious, Chantel. Of course intentionality is the key.” Yeah, yeah.
Easier said than done.
But not this week: I’m doing it!