Notes from a Floating Life Thoughts about productivity, digital living, and leading a simpler life

The Joys of Slowing Down

A road sign saying 'Slow Down'

Life these days seems to move at quite a fast clip, doesn’t it? There’s always something happening. There’s always something to do.

It’s easy to get caught up in the blurs that are our lives. And I’m not being facetious when I call our lives blurs. Often, it seems that one moment melds into the next. One experience is a continuation of another.

Many of us don’t slow down because we fear we’ll be left behind. We fear we’ll miss something. We fear that we’ll be seen as not being able to keep up.

And that’s the problem. By not slowing down, we don’t have time to reflect or enjoy what’s in front of us or around us. By not slowing down we are missing out on experiences that can enrich our lives.

Think about everything you rush through. Maybe it’s a meal. Do you take the time to slowly eat it, to enjoy it, to enjoy the people you’re sharing that meal with? Do you read electronically, or do you grab and actual dead-trees book? Do you every take the time to write by hand instead of turning to a keyboard?

Slowing down allows you to appreciate those experiences. You learn to pay attention to each word, each morsel, each movement, each moment. You notice more. You take more in. By slowing down, you process information more thoroughly, you ponder ideas deeply.

Slowing down allows you to focus on the moment, to live in that moment. It allows you to ponder and relax and let your mind drift. Slowing down allows you to concentrate on one moment, on one space in time, on one idea or problem.

You won’t get all that much done by slowing down. You won’t have as many (often dubious) experiences when you slow down. What you do, what you experience will be more meaningful, more thoughtful, deeper, and more imporant.

Life’s not about quantity but quality. Quality of thought. Quality of your experiences. Quality of your life. And that’s the joy of slowing down: being able to savour that quality instead of letting it slip by you as you dash ahead to the next thing.

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