We are on the go more than ever these days. We rush from one activity to the next, answering emails and booking hotel rooms all from our mobile devices, while ordering takeout food that we can eat in the car, on our way to dropping the kids off at soccer practice before they meet with the tutor they need because of missing class for their piano recital.
Sounds like an exhausting schedule, right? And yet, this situation is not unlike many people’s today, who find themselves rushing here, there and everywhere in the name of productivity.
But is spreading yourself (and your children) so thin actually beneficial? Researchers at Kansas State University claim this “workaholism” is not only unproductive, but can affect both mental and physical well-being.
The drive to succeed leads millions of Americans to cram their schedules full, leaving little time for social interaction, leisure time and healthy eating, all of which are key to all-around health.
Slowing down your life and taking time for yourself and others will not only foster better personal and work-related relationships, but will also boost productivity and benefit your physical health, as well. Follow these five tips to help slow down life in the fast lane:
Disconnect, unplug and power down. That’s right, actually turn off you cell phone, tablet, laptop or any other device you may have stowed away somewhere. Assistant psychology professor YoungAh Park from Kansas State University notes that our constant need to check work-related emails and messages once we are off the clock often causes stress that can spill over into personal relationships.
Furthermore, while we believe we are being more productive, in reality the obsession with work often leads to burnout and lowers overall job satisfaction and productivity.
So, do yourself a favor and log off from work once you’ve left the building at least a few nights a week. You’ll be more refreshed and ready to tackle tomorrow’s stresses tomorrow.
Single-task. At some point it became the norm to multi-task, juggling multiple activities or tasks at one time. However, attempting to complete several projects at once often results in heaps of mediocre work rather than one or two outstanding efforts. Instead of taking on several assignments at work, choose a few that you can really focus on. Taking more time to produce higher quality work will often reap better rewards than turning in mediocre performances each time.
Make friends with your kitchen. Always on the go means opting for what’s available rather than what’s healthy. While one trip through the drive-through won’t kill you, making a habit of it sure won’t benefit your waistline any. Rather than rushing through a meal on the go, select a few days a week to eat at home.
Preparing food can have a therapeutic effect that will benefit you both mentally and physically. Psychiatrist Mark Salter notes that cooking and baking activities help combat stress, anxiety and depression symptoms. Additionally, taking time to prepare nutritious meals stimulates a nurturing instinct and helps restore a healthy relationship with food and eating that often gets left behind at the drive-through window.
Keep perspective. It’s easy to get caught up in our own problems. A chipped nail can send some women into panic mode, while missing the first fifteen minutes of a movie can leave others in a tailspin, often ruining their entire evening.
Stressing out over the small stuff can add up in a big way, and lead to various chronic health conditions over time. The next time you find that the store is out of your favorite cereal or the dog ate your new shoe, slow down and ask yourself just how much of the rest of your life will be affected by this unforeseen disaster. If the answer is less than one hour of the next 40 years or so, save your stress for something more substantial.
Think little. Bigger homes, faster cars, higher salaries, etc… these goals are often flashing non-stop on our radar screens. While it’s definitely commendable to want to better yourself, never finding satisfaction with what you have can lead to a cycle of depression.
Rather than always setting large and long-term goals, opt for small achievable ones that you can take your time with. It may be something as simple as preparing a meal from scratch, but take the time to accomplish the task at hand and congratulate yourself for a job well-done.
-The Alternative Daily