A Practice in Slowing Down

The long way home

One of my goals this year was to do only one thing at a time.  In a culture so obsessed with multi-tasking and accomplishing many things in one day making a goal like this seems odd.

I’ve found that when I’m trying to tackle two or three things at once I rarely do them all well and it tends to take me much longer to finish each task.  When I was in school I’d be cooking and photographing a meal for the blog, doing homework for class, and watching TV in the background.  Instead of being ultra-productive I saw the quality in everything I did decline.  I finished my work feeling exhausted and wondering why it took me 6 hours to write a 3 page paper.

Now that I’m out of school, I’m trying to create a balance in my life.  I want to be fully present in whatever it is that I’m doing so I’ve made the commitment to limit myself to one activity at a time.  A big part of this is learning when to say “yes” and when to say “no”.  A big part of this is being honest when I don’t want to do something rather than saying I’m just “too busy”.  Erin over at Design for Mankind hit the nail on the head when she said that being “too busy” to do something really just means it is not a priority for you–and that’s ok!!  I’m learning how to prioritize so that I’m happy, healthy, and productive.  I’m learning that going to bed early is ok (way more than ok…it’s the best thing).

Another side effect of this goal is discovering what my priorities truly are.  Originally I thought I wanted to go back to school, move out of my parents house ASAP, and work 40+ hours a week at my big girl job.  Now I’m realizing that I have plenty of classroom education for now–I’d rather learn through experiences than from professors.  While living with my parents has its challenges, it’s an experience that I will most likely never have again.  Additionally, I’m saving a lot of money and I always have someone to talk to if I’ve had a rough day (or want to share about a happy day!).  Rather than living at my job, I’ve found that my work is better and far more inspired when I balance it with my life.  I work almost full time and I supplement my income with odd jobs and with marketing consulting jobs.  I’ve found that taking a big step away from my computer is extremely refreshing and freeing.  Life that is not well-rounded is lacking.  I want to find ways to round out my experiences.  I want to travel and try new foods.  I want to attend all sorts of events from art gallery openings to Redbull Rampage.  I want to explore my creative side and learn new artistic skills.  I want to make genuine and lasting friendships, watch cheesy movies, and read inspiring books.  I never want to stop learning about the world around me and who I am; how I fit into life.  I always want to believe that I am a small part of a big picture.  I want to volunteer time rather than donating money.  I want to constantly strive to be better.  And I only want to do one of those things at a time so I can focus all of my energy into doing them well.

I know I’ve been absent from this space so I wanted to share where I’m at right now.  A little self-reflection is a great thing, don’t you think?

2 thoughts on “A Practice in Slowing Down

  1. Malori. You have just taken a big step in life. They say you can do it all. Well maybe, but not right now. They say you can do whatever you want, once you figure out what that is. And why should we listen to what “they” say.

    Good job!

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