“Alas time, ultimately, is a strange and slippery resource, easily traded, visible only when it passes and often most highly valued when it is gone.” The Economist
Pre-PS: If you don’t have time to read this article or are skipping through, I am sure you are the one who should read with care.
It has been quite some time since I have written an article on my blog. Partly, I feel guilty because I know that I had ideas and time, on the other hand I feel pretty much okay with it. So, what was the reason behind my absence? Well, I simply wanted to take a break from writing.
But here I am again. In my today’s contribution I want to emphasize the importance of relaxation. People are constantly reminded that they should take some time-off, yet when you ask them about time, the majority will give you a generic answer such as “I don’t have time.” or “I am busy”. I was the same.
I always felt the urge of doing many things at the same time. Handling college studies, part-time job, sports, family/friends and other activities were my daily meal for several years. I do not think it was that bad after all, because I did things I liked and gained experience, yet I felt under pressure. The truth is I did not have to do all those things. It was my choice.
In the heat of the moment which was in February 2015 during my internship in Brussels, I questioned myself “Is this rush and pressure worth it? Do I really have to handle thesis, internship, blog and learning German? Am I a victim or the culprit?” Mind you, this was not the first “Aha” moment that I had. I always knew that I had a jam-packed agenda and should drop some activities. But all of them seemed so important and leaving just one of them was unimaginable. But as Adidas says “Nothing is impossible”.
So, I just started to slow down step by step. Basically, it meant eating in peace without the noise of television or radio, sleeping the recommended 8 hours per day, taking more rest, becoming more spontaneous and prioritizing things. Many thanks go to my boyfriend, a born serene companion in my life, and my brother, a reborn slow-down enthusiast.
Slowing down is totally worth it because of many reasons. You realize what is important in your life and how much attention things deserve. You appreciate people who matter in your life and you no more have to browse through your agenda to find a free time slot to meet them. Last but not least, you can be idle and daydream. And that is when most of the ideas come! Not under pressure. All of those are benefits. You will also encounter a few setbacks. Not everybody will share your view and at one point of time you might realize that you want to change some things in your life which can be very difficult in the beginning. But it is never late to start.
So, how do you slow down? Prioritize, drop activities, sleep, take rest, be spontaneous, eat nicely, sometimes don’t do anything and feel fine about it. And if you are still not convinced, see what some smarter people than me say.
- Read how Dean of the Harvard University Harry R. Lewis recommended the students to slow down.
- Read Cal Newport’s advice for MIT students how to “Do Less, Do Better, Know Why”.
- Watch a beautiful motivational video by Steve Jobs, which is not about slowdown, but I just love it. 🙂
So, I hope that my today’s post was helpful to you. Feel free to comment. For the next time, I am preparing an interview with my friend Ahmed from Egypt on his view on Islam in the age of globalization. If I get lucky, I might even interview a Czech researcher who went on an expedition to Antarctica. So, stay tuned! 🙂