I was watching a YouTube video yesterday and I scrolled down to see a summary comment. You know, a comment that summarizes the main ideas of the video in a few sentences.
There were almost as many praises for that comment as there were for the video.
Another comment was someone complaining that it was a video in the first place. They wanted a skimmable article. This video was less than three minutes long.
What kind of hurry and busyness do we have in our lives to say a brief video takes too much time? A video! We don’t have to do anything but sit there and watch it.
This article takes four minutes to read. I don’t stand a chance!
People want faster, better, more efficient. That’s a #1 goal is many people’s days. Entire blogs and books are created around this concept.
But why are we in such a hurry?
Are you living a life of hurry?
Dallas WIllard says, “to truly connect with God, ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life.”
This is true for more than our relationships with God. It’s true for all of ours relationships… and our sanity.
I’ve been guilt of it at many points in my life. Always trying to be more productive or more efficient.
But efficiency isn’t always the best goal. Efficacy is a great alternative.
Efficiency is all about getting more done. Efficacy is about accomplishing what you intend to get done. Even if that means a peaceful, relaxing day hiking or reading.
We’re all guilty of cramming too much into our already busy schedules.
I’ve come up with some things we can do to practice efficacy over efficiency.
Here are some ways to slow down…
Commit to Complete
When you’re watching an educational video or reading an article, commit to watching or reading it entirely.
This isn’t just to get every word of information; it’s more to slow down, appreciate, and take in the information you’re getting.
We’re overloaded with information daily. It’s time to slow down and absorb some of it.
The fear of missing out (FOMO) takes its toll on us. We need to finish this article or video quickly so we can get on to the next. But by the time we’re on to the next, we barely remember what we learned from the first.
Just try this for a week. Commit to completing everything you start. Whether that be finishing a video, reading an article, or finishing something you’ve already started that’s been left undone.
Every article about slowing down mentions gratitude.
That’s because it’s the key to slowing down.
We’re in a hurry because we feel like we don’t have enough.
We do have enough. We have enough right now. Today. Be grateful for that.
Take the time to stop, think, meditate, and be grateful. Gratitude leads to a happier and more fulfilled life. And of course, teach your kids to be grateful.
You may have heard, “happiness is not having what you want, it’s wanting what you have.”
It’s not about settling. It’s about appreciating what you have and where you are before you try to obtain or become more.
Step Away From Social Media
I quit social media for July. I’m not constantly on it in the first place, but I wanted to see if I noticed any changes. And I did.
I had a calmer spirit. I wasn’t caught up in all the news and drama that is social media.
I had to fill those little moments when I would scroll my feed with something else.
I meditated. I read my Bible. I read more books.
I didn’t feel pressured to respond to anyone about anything, or to like someone’s picture, or notice that they tagged me in a post.
I’m not saying you should quit social media entirely, but take a break.
See if you notice a difference.
Enjoy Your Food
Meal time is another thing we tend to breeze past.
We eat a quick lunch while we’re working. We may eat dinner in front of the TV. Breakfast could be a shake on the way to work, if we eat breakfast at all.
Slow down. Chew your food. Enjoy the taste. Notice the flavors.
If you don’t usually take a lunch break, try it for once. Even if you just go out to your car and eat the food you brought. Or go to a restaurant and sit alone just thinking, eating, and enjoying.
Slow down and appreciate the food you have, especially considering how many people are starving in this world as I write this.
These are only a few ideas, but honestly, you know how to slow down.
Disconnect from technology.
Reconnect with your day. Reconnect with nature. Reconnect with God.
If you make a concious decision to slow down, you will slow down.
Being conscious and present is the important part. If you can remind yourself to simply be where you are at any given time, you’ll slow down by default.
Further Book Reading
- Get Your Life Back by John Eldredge
- Renovation of the Heart by Dallas Willard
- The Minimalist Way by Erica Layne
Further Bible Reading
- 8 Minimalism Books to Help You Declutter Your Entire House
- Large-Family Minimalism: How We Declutter 5,000 Things a Year
- 10 Practical Steps to Start Practical Minimalism
- 47 Things You Weren’t Taught in School (That Our Kids Need to Know)
- The Media Threat: How Much Screen Time is Too Much?
- Stop Saying Adoption is Expensive