I’m gonna to try and keep this simple and lean, I’m sure that if you’re looking for this information you probably don’t have a whole lot of time to read through a lengthy pre-amble. Straight to actionable things that you can implement into your life today.
To Do lists
This is a concept that I found originally in the book ‘’Destination Simple” by Brooke McAlary – though I’ve adapted it slightly to how my life works (This is something you should really do with any lifestyle information, just because it works for one person doesn’t mean it will work for everyone).
Basically – cut your to-do lists down to three key objectives for the day. This gives you clear direction and achievable goals, plus anything else you get done during the day feels like a nice bonus. I’ve implemented this by having three lists of three things every day. One for life, work and my project at the time. I’ve found that this makes everything feel far more straightforward, and certainly less daunting as I can go into the day with a good plan.
Take some time off your phone
Cutting down the amount of time you spend on your phone could make a world of difference to how your day goes, from that annoying email you see first thing in the morning to the amazing photo you see of someone else’s holiday on Instagram immediately before falling asleep. It’s time to make that stop.
Add some rules on your phone so that certain apps are blocked both after you wake up and before you head to bed, make sure that you turn off all notifications between these times as well.
Not using your phone for an hour after waking up is pretty ideal – this gives you plenty of time to plan out your day – do your checklists or maybe start off on a journal.
Read a book
It’s so simple, just go a little bit more lo-fi. Try picking up a book instead of your phone, swap scrolling for turning pages, especially before sleep.
There’s been a huge number of studies saying that the white light of a screen can send the wrong messages to your brain about sleep, you can take a look at one here for a little more info.
Working flat out just doesn’t work out that well for most – we’re effective and focused for about 20 minutes, then fall into a half working, half completely unmotivated state.
Try splitting up your time so that you have around 20 minutes on followed by 5 minutes off. This gives you enough headspace to approach your tasks with clarity and makes it far easier to get done what you’re trying to get done.
As always, take an agile approach to this, if you find you’re still nailing it after 20 minutes then by all means carry on – but do take note when you start to lose that pace and take a quick break. Get a glass of water and get away from your desk for minute.
Give these ideas a go, but don’t attempt to implement all of them at once. The whole point of slowing down is to reduce the stress in your life, trying to keep on top of four new things you have to do everyday is more than enough to make you completely give up on the idea. Start small and build on the parts you like, lifestyle change doesn’t come overnight, so don’t expect it to.