As technology has accelerated, so has the speed of life. Busyness has become a status symbol. People are expected to be connected 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The “Hustle culture” has caused people to work hard and push themselves until they burnout. We have forgotten what it’s like to have less. Less stuff. Less work. Less plans. Less expectations. Less to prove. Less stress.

Instead of trying to do everything as FAST as possible, why not slow down and try to do things as WELL and as possible? Quality is always better than quantity.

Slowly but surely, people are coming to realize the value of simplicity. More and more people are learning that more does not equal better and that faster doesn’t equal better.

What is Slow Living?

What exactly is slow living and how can you embrace a slower pace of life?

What Slow Living is not is slowing down to a snail’s pace that isn’t productive in today’s fast-paced world. Slow living is a mindset. It is slowing down enough to go through your day with purpose. It is about disconnecting and being more present from the way you eat your meals, to how you work, how you spend your free time, and how you connect with the people around you.

“The Slow Living Vision is of an Earth where humankind, honoring and celebrating the profound connectedness of all people, places and living beings, gives back by co-creating mutually supportive communities, bioregions and economic systems — and where we combine the wisdom of the past with a vision for the future to ensure a balanced, fulfilling way of life for all generations to come.” 

— SlowLivingSummit.org

How can you start Slow Living?

Create a mindfulness routine

Instead of having a busy life, you can have a fulfilling one. A full calendar doesn’t necessarily mean you are living a full life. Slowing down is a choice open to all of us. No matter how much is on your plate, you can slow your life down in the simplest of things.

Try simply taking the time to put all other distractions away when you make your morning coffee. Making your morning cup of coffee can become a relaxing ritual for you when done mindfully. Notice and focus on measuring the water carefully, slowly pouring your coffee into your cup, and inhaling the aroma before taking a sip. By doing this one thing in the morning with mindfulness and your complete attention can cause ripple effects throughout your day.

Allow yourself to experience boredom

Slow living is allowing yourself to experience boredom rather than filling your day with endless activities in order to feel busy or productive. By freeing up the non-essentials in your life, you are able to free up your time to be more. By only saying “yes” to your essentials, you can be more mindful in the present moment.

Practice digital detox

Apply digital minimalism and a digital detox in your life. You may say that your work demands that you are connected and can be reached 24/7, or your tasks are endless and you can’t even find five minutes out of your day to take a break. You can start by distinguishing between what’s in your control and what’s not. Focus on the things in your control, as well as those things outside of your control that you may be able to influence.

Make time for meaningful breaks

No matter how busy your day gets, make time for meaningful breaks. Whether it’s to drink a cup of water in between meetings, stand and stretching after sitting in front of your computer for hours. Taking meaningful and mindful breaks helps refocus the mind.

Consciously slow down even with a jam-packed schedule

By planning out your day the night before, you get an overview of how your day would look and how busy your schedule is going to be. To plan ahead, you can try time-blocking in order to focus on one task at a time. Multi-tasking results in decreased productivity whether we do it intentionally or not. One way to avoid multi-tasking is by avoiding distractions. Close your email when you’re having a meeting, or close all the other tabs on your desktop and focus on one project at a time.

(c) Unsplash.com

“A fast approach tends to be a superficial one, but when you slow down you begin to engage more deeply with whatever it is you’re doing. You’re also forced to confront what’s happening inside you – which is one of the reasons why I think we find it so hard to slow down. Speed becomes a form of denial. It’s a way of running away from those more deeper, tangled problems. Instead of focusing on questions like who am I, and what is my role here, it all becomes a superficial to-do list.”

— Carl Honoré

Take a step back from the daily grind. Remember that faster isn’t always better, whether that’s in your work, relationships, or your life. Stop trying to fast-forward through life. Instead try to actually live it.


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10 Comments

  1. Great advice! This is something I know I need to work on. I’m one of those people that likes to be busy. But I do like the idea of meaningful breaks! I like to go for a walk, or have a snack. I’m trying to get better at the rest! Thanks for the tips!

  2. When working two jobs, I embraced the idea of slow living. I hated getting home after a longggg day and feeling like the hours had completely escaped me and then realizing I’d have to endure it all again the next day. When I slowed down to focus on the task at hand and be completely present, not only had the quality of my work increased but overall I felt way less stressed out. Thanks for including helpful tips that I hadn’t even considered could benefit my work and productivity.
    Great post love, xo Bri

  3. I am all for the slow living! Quarantine has really helped me slow down and create more mindful routines and I love it! I feel happier and whole.

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