Want to slow down and savor this summer? Here are five tips:
1. Stay Home More
A few weeks ago, our second car was in the shop. I was amazed at how much quieter and calmer our life was that week because we had no choice but to stay home all day for most of the week!
Some families find it helpful to get out and go somewhere every day, but don’t feel like you have to just because that’s what other people do. I love staying home and we aim to stay home all day at least 2-3 days per week. When we are running, running, running, and going, going, going, it makes us all feel tired and cranky.
Try staying home more and see if it allows you to have calmer, more organized days. You can’t say it won’t work if you haven’t tried. 🙂
2. Allow Two Hours of Margin
A lot of our feelings of busyness come from trying to pack 32 hours’ worth of projects and to-do’s into a 24-hour day. No wonder we feel so overwhelmed and worn out!
Two things that have really helped me feel less schedule overload the past year are to plan out the time blocks of my day each night before I go to bed (watch the video where I talk more about this here) and also to allow at least two hours of margin in my day. These are buffer hours where I don’t have any projects planned.
Most days, there will be interruptions and unexpected things that come up and these two hours of margin time allow you to be able to deal with the interruptions without your whole day being thrown off course. And hey, if you have a rare day without many interruptions, you can use the two hours to catch up on other projects, to do something spontaneous, or even to catch up on sleep!
3. Take One Day Off
Setting aside Sundays as our “off” day has been one of the best decisions we’ve ever made. In fact, I would say it is almost the number one key to my productivity and efficiency. I look forward to Sundays as the weekly 24-hour period to rest, refresh, and recharge.
Not only is taking one day off good for your physical health, I believe it is imperative for your mental health and well-being long-term. You’ll quickly wear out of you just charge through life and never take time to refuel. Sundays are the day when my spirit breathes and my creativity tank is refilled for the week ahead.
I dare you to try taking one day off from work, media, and your normal life and see what you think. You might find you quickly realize you can’t imagine life without it!
4. Focus on the Best Return on Investment
There are many good things in life that you can invest your life in, but you can’t come close to trying to do them all. Figure out what the best things are for YOU and wrap your life, time, and energy around those things.
For me, that’s my marriage, my kids, my health, and the blog. I say “no” to a lot of other things because they are the best things for me to invest my time in at this season of life.
5. Choose Quality Over Quantity
When considering the multitude of opportunities that constantly present themselves for activities, ministries, service projects, and more, I try to first ask myself, “Will this matter in 25 years from now?” This helps me weed through a lot of things that just aren’t the best things for me to be devoting time and energy to right now.
After paring down my list based upon that question, I then try to focus on quality versus quantity. I’d rather do a few things really well, than a hundred things pretty poorly.
What things help you to slow down and savor life? I’d love to hear your suggestions and input!