such a rush

ab58f80884cf7bb4f7eb7ce6e3e49ba5

hello and happy friday everyone! how’s your summer wrapping up? it’s still summer til sept 21st (or 22nd)? so i hope you’ll enjoy a few more bbq’s and outdoor good times. i’ve been nesting at my new place and it’s been great, in fact the sofa arrived today! but on the work front i’ve been feeling that no matter how much i do i’m spinning my wheels. i work work work and am always busy busy busy but now i’m starting to ask, why why why?

Screen shot 2013-09-12 at 10.40.37 PM

maybe it’s a midlife crisis but i’m realizing that i want to really enjoy my life, not just power through the days anymore. i’d like to refine my work and focus on the parts i truly love and am passionate about. and now that summer’s coming to an end i don’t want to watch the days just slip away without remembering something special about each one of them. since so many got away over the past couple months, it’s time to start making some memories on a daily basis. but how?

ffb0c88d401eddfa5c12b4b8d6352da4

i started looking up phrases like ‘slowing down time’ and words like ‘relax’ and came across lots wonderful sites full of insights and lots pretty pics on pinterest. (btw all the photos can be found at pinterest.com/parisapartment/boards)

Anurag-flickr-1725x810_27424

inc.com/how-to-make-your-days-feel-longer

turns out there are tons of people devoted to relaxing and making sure that our days are cherished as opposed to tolerated. it seems like it’s just become habit to work till i’m too tired and spent to enjoy the creative parts of life and that’s what i’d like to change.

aaafbdaf6576631872ac692d338e3054

whether it’s taking a plunge,

225c7d391f6dbb29f03df2d1d10789a9

tumblr_m27papekcC1ros92ao1_500

meditating,

a4d81cd6c2a9e7d2ae83490c9b229d7b

just chiling out,

73fbcbc10c3a29acdb3c4c6d0d9f778e

reading,

3654aed438d62882ee570fa7c1adba71

going for a ride,

a521b9b2d4040b12113cc05b54d2399c

communing with nature

Screen shot 2013-09-12 at 9.48.20 PM

decompressing,

Journaling_604

writing,

74977ee6cdf9615eef1e6a01fd278c0d

smelling the roses,

d706d0b2fcd20969e03e8528bc8eb51d

having a conversation,

666529bf666d43b1b5a6185249bc9d8c

or just being alone, it seems that if those niches of time are not specifically carved out, it’s just not going to happen.

c1e5952d74b596b2515ede3a4dc89871

one of the first of the articles i stumbled on was by jessica stillman on the inc. website. here’s an excerpt from an overworked man she interviewed:

In Japan, Okinawans maintain a high standard of health. Researchers have traced their longevity to a Confucian practice called hara hachi bu. Roughly translated it means: ‘eat until you are 80 percent full,” he explains.

Jackson decided to apply this principle not to his diet but to his schedule.

“I decided I would start practicing a form of mental hara hachi bu at work,” he writes. “I became conscious of the amount of energy I spent at the office. I would deliberately pace myself so I that I spent only 80 percent of my mental energy throughout the day.”

Without calories to count of an internal fuel gauge, how does he determine when he’s reached 80 percent?

“It’s a state of being mindful. I try not to overstimulate my brain: I pick 2-3 big things to accomplish a day. After that, I focus on little things that don’t require as much energy.” Think of it as another way to follow Ernest Hemingway’s famous dictum on writing: “The best way is always to stop when you are going good.”

6156319d055b05b819f942e10512a296

if you’re feeling the same way, check out some of these links with some great advice including these tips on what NOT to do in order to be more productive:

Dont:

-Check my phone while I’m talking to someone

-Multitask during a meeting

-Say “yes” when I really mean “no.”

b86378655a03769302bff5b1951a8857

marie claire interviewed the author of ‘in praise of slowness‘. they say: Every day, you race against the clock-battling traffic, speed-dialing your cell phone, and grabbing takeout. Ever pause to wonder, What is the big hurry? You work fast. You eat fast. You fall in love fast. But to find real happiness, all you have to do is SLOW DOWN.

6156319d055b05b819f942e10512a296

this site, evolve, reviews another book, “not so fast”, which gives good advice to counteracting the stressful lives a lot of us are living:  Get to that yoga class. Squeeze in talking to your family. Hurry up and meditate. Grab a meal. Sleep fast. 

b9b0612358834a91527b632c588f3960

when he started speed reading to his kids at night, author carl honore re-evaluated his life. here he lists some good tips for working slower and better throughout the day by adopting some of the following strategies:

  • Don’t schedule in more than two meetings per day.
  • Don’t schedule any meetings after 3pm. It is the most unproductive time of day and also the time of day where most misunderstandings and therefore conflicts occur
  • Don’t pick up your second line (or call waiting) when you are already on a phone call
  • Don’t rush your meetings or phone calls.
  • Turn notifications off
  • Taking renewal breaks throughout the day to stretch and breathe
  • Listen more and listen actively. Absorb what the other person is saying
  • Don’t take on too much work. Learn to say ‘no’
  • Don’t rush your individual tasks.
  • Don’t accept any last minute deadlines imposed on you.
  • Take a walk at lunch
  • Take at least 45 minutes for lunch, eat outside and get some Vitamin D
  • Take a packed lunch to work for at least three days in the week.
  • Keep a photo on your desk and look at it throughout the day.

649c96c7d6d9b8d6bb82227a798b04c0

leo babauta wrote “the power of less, do less, get more done”. he says here’s how to do it:

1. Do less. Make the conscious choice to do less. Focus on what’s really important, what really needs to be done, and let go of the rest.

2. Be present. It’s not enough to just slow down — you need to actually be mindful of whatever you’re doing at the moment.

3. Disconnect. Don’t always be connected. If you carry around an iPhone or Blackberry or other mobile device, shut it off. Better yet, learn to leave it behind when possible.

4. Focus on people. Too often we spend time with friends and family, or meet with colleagues, and we’re not really there with them. We talk to them but are distracted by devices. We are there, but our minds are on things we need to do. We listen, but we’re really thinking about ourselves and what we want to say.

38be43a2374c9ae579271c6db41c5011

6. Eat slower. Instead of cramming food down our throats as quickly as possible — leading to overeating and a lack of enjoyment of our food — learn to eat slowly. Be mindful of each bite. Appreciate the flavors and textures. Eating slowly has the double benefit of making you fuller on less food and making the food taste better.

7. Drive slower. Speedy driving is a pretty prevalent habit in our fast-paced world, but it’s also responsible for a lot of traffic accidents, stress, and wasted fuel. Instead, make it a habit to slow down when you drive. Appreciate your surroundings.

8. Find pleasure in anything. This is related to being present, but taking it a step farther. Whatever you’re doing, be fully present … and also appreciate every aspect of it, and find the enjoyable aspects. For example, when washing dishes, instead of rushing through it as a boring chore to be finished quickly, really feel the sensations of the water, the suds, the dishes. It can really be an enjoyable task if you learn to see it that way.

9. Single-task. The opposite of multi-tasking. Focus on one thing at a time. When you feel the urge to switch to other tasks, pause, breathe, and pull yourself back. 

10. Breathe. When you find yourself speeding up and stressing out, pause, and take a deep breath. Take a couple more. Really feel the air coming into your body, and feel the stress going out. By fully focusing on each breath, you bring yourself back to the present, and slow yourself down. It’s also nice to take a deep breath or two — do it now and see what I mean. :)

597af1c847ae3fa4bd5fad6b1b92ca47

finally, International Institute of Not Doing Much at slowdownnow.org has a cute and cheeky website about the joys of slow living and they offer this advice:

1. Put your feet up, and stare idly out of the window. Warning: Do not attempt this while driving.
2. Do one thing at a time. Remember multitasking is a moral weakness (except for women, who have superior brain function).
3. Ponder, take your time. Do not be pushed into answering questions. A response is not the same as an answer.
4. Slowly learn our Slow Manifesto.
5. Yawn often. Medical studies have shown lots of things, and possibly that yawning may be good for you.
6. Spend more time in bed. You have a better chance of cultivating your dreams (not your aspirations.)
7. Read the slow stories.
8. Spend more time in the bathtub. (See letter from Major Smythe-Blunder.)
9. Practice doing nothing. (Yes, this is the difficult one.)
10. Avoid too much seriousness. Laugh, because you’re only alive on Planet Earth for a limited time.

f40c61dc1d524f2f7f335d4f28c5497e

well, i hope if you were anywhere near the brink of teetering off the cliff as i was, you’ll implement one or two of the ideas above. personally i think i’ll shut off the phone, eat slower and definitely not multi task. i thought spending more time in bed was a good one!

732770c42d79454ac001441f1d99b65e

and maybe we can learn a little from our furry friends about letting go of the stress and tension, constant rushing, and over acheiving.

bba33f9ffb70fc4a79ca5c493fa41c0e

5637cb4392b23fcd8f02d5f20990e264

c5c36ebd4554e9a3e5917c205940305c

dc78428e3e8cdbad34c7f7de775a0f21

1dd523cd3ffc4973e97e3e583b825381

it’s now just past midnight so i can officially say have a fabulous weekend! hope you take somewhere between 5 minutes and an afternoon all to yourself!

1016630_488882814529853_1448739382_n

and now it’s time to hit the off switch. bon nuit!

f27312420a498336b464e6e1b7f0bed5

 

September 13, 2013. Friends, Life.

15 Comments

  1. MJH Design Arts replied:

    Hi Claudia, I desperately needed this post. To be reminded to be mindful of my existence. Thank you immensely. I’ve saved the post.
    Mary

    Like

  2. Mom replied:

    This reminds me very much of a book I am reading entitled “The Secret”.

    Like

  3. Joy Zaczyk replied:

    Brilliant! xo

    Like

  4. Nancy replied:

    Thank you! Thank you! I smiled more and more as I read this post – a keeper…

    Like

  5. emily @ Town And Country Shuffle replied:

    What a great post Claudia! You find the best photos.
    I left my career in Fashion because it was becoming an unhealthy vortex of crazy. I was working long hours, weekends and holidays like most fashion ppl… and my life was passing me by. I did have a “why?” moment and “got off at the next stop” … I miss parts of it, but I am a much happier person and mom for it…
    Thanks for the reminder to slow down and enjoy life more

    Emily @ Town And Country Shuffle

    Like

  6. Rhonda replied:

    Oh Claudia, what an amazing post! I will be sharing all of it with those I love.

    Like

  7. Gloria Martin replied:

    Fabulous post!!!! AND perfect timing. Amazing how the universe speaks to us when we turn out attention inwards, and simply tune in! xo thanks xo

    Like

  8. Peggy Braswell replied:

    exactly what I needed. While I am so grateful to be busy,I can be mindful of slowing down. thanks xxpeggybraswelldesign.com

    Like

  9. Karena Albert (@ArtbyKarena) replied:

    Claudia my friend, perfect timing! This post is so wonderful and I will be posting several images! So many of us need to stop the madness!

    xoxo
    Karena
    Art by Karena

    Like

  10. Nikon replied:

    Great, fun post! Lots of great pics and words of wisdom.
    (Love the photos of the relaxing cats!)

    Like

  11. 18thcenturysutler replied:

    This is a terrific post. I forwarded it to several family & friends. Does remind me too of the book “The Secret” and “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff” series. This posting is a keeper! Thank you.

    Like

  12. Clare replied:

    You read my mind! I’m always reminding myself to slow down & live in the moment. Finally read Eckhart Tolle’s “The Power of Now” – amazing!!

    Clare x

    Like

  13. Lisa Palazzolo Harris replied:

    Such a perfect post! I have a book titled ‘the art of doing nothing’. Thanks for the reminder…

    Like

  14. Rebecca Grace replied:

    Lots of great ideas here. Especially enjoyed the Covey quote about listening with the intent to understand rather than with the intent to reply — it made me think of the “experts” on the news always arguing with one another, tossing sound bites like hand grenades and listening only in search of some weakness they can exploit with their retort. But children intuitively listen to understand, which is why so many startling questions and observations come “from the mouths of babes.”

    Oh, and I’m all for limiting to two meetings per day, but have to disagree with the “no work gets done after 3 PM.” I’m the antithesis of the Morning Person. It’s 11:36 AM and I’m still in my pajamas, enjoying my latte and checking in on my favorite blogs. I find that my MOST productive actual work time is between 2-6 PM. Earlier in the day, you’ll find me coloring with crayons or putting my feet up and staring idly out the window… Yes, ESPECIALLY while driving. This totally freaks out my kids. ;-)

    Happy week-end, Claudia!

    Like

  15. Shell replied:

    What an inspiring post, I felt like you had captured a snapshot into my crazy day today. I am going off to embrace some relaxation now.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback URI

%d bloggers like this: