Slow down
Managing your time 

December 2023 

With only so many hours in the day, learning how to use every hour wisely can help to improve your time management skills. 

With life being so hectic these days, do you often feel like there aren't enough hours in the day, and you’re always rushing from one thing to the next? Running full speed day in and day out can not only make you less productive but can have an impact on your wellbeing. 

Sometimes slowing down is exactly what you need to do to get more done. By making the following changes to your habits, you can learn to slow down, and shift your focus to what's important.  

Instead of trying to do everything, focus on prioritising your activities. Do this by creating a list of tasks based on what is important and cross them off as you go. This will give you a clear plan of what tasks you need to complete and in what order they need to be done. 
Saying ‘no’ to activities and invitations that aren’t your priority can help you better manage your time. Learning to be assertive and comfortable with saying “no” can be difficult at first and may take some practice. Just remember, you’re allowed to say no to doing things you don’t feel like doing. It’s an important part of protecting your time and your energy. 
Research has shown that when you switch between tasks frequently or quickly, your stress levels increase significantly. By attempting to do multiple things at once, you can end up not doing any of the tasks particularly well. Instead, focus on doing one task at a time, and finish that before moving on to the next one. Not only will you practice slowing down, but there is a good chance you’ll also do a better job at whatever you’re doing when you aren’t jumping back and forth between multiple tasks.
A great way to practice slowing down is unplugging. In today’s constantly connected world, we are bombarded with a constant stream of pings and alerts including emails, texts, news, and social media activity from our devices. Start by turning your phone off for an hour, then a day, and eventually a weekend. At the very least, silence some of the notifications on your phone so there are fewer distractions vying for your attention. 
Practicing mindfulness not only reduces stress, but it also has the power to help you slow down and really take care of you. Take a few moments out of your day for some deep breathing exercises, focus on all your senses, and try to be fully present in the moment. 
Embrace ‘niksen’, the Dutch art of doing nothing. Niksen is defined as doing something without a purpose, like sitting still, daydreaming or staring out the window. For essential wellness tools such as guided meditations, try Wysa  - your mind-coaching app. Wysa is available on MyHealth.
Take yourself for a walk-in nature or listen to the birds in your backyard. Spend time outdoors when you can or find other outdoor activities to enjoy such as hiking or swimming. Try to do this daily - by yourself or with loved ones. When in nature, slow down, and learn to enjoy the little things.
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