“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
This recognizable quote from the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off can be helpful to remember when we find ourselves saying things like:
“I simply can’t keep this pace up for much longer.”
“There just aren’t enough hours in the day.”
“Stop the merry-go-round. I need to get off!”
Often, we miss the signs that we’re moving too fast or that we’ve got too much on our plates. Sometimes our tendency is to switch to autopilot, and we may become suddenly unaware of what we’re doing in a given moment.
To help foster self-awareness, here are nine important indicators of when you might wish to slow things down before they go awry:
1. You’re always late to appointments.
2. You keep losing things.
The first time you lose your keys, glasses, or wallet, you may simply let it go. The second time it happens, it’s a sure sign that you’re moving so fast you’re not aware of what you’re doing. You put things down without a thought and then don’t know where to retrieve them.
It can help to have a designated “home” for your belongings, but if you seem to be rushing lately and have tunnel vision, slowing the tempo can also help you stop misplacing things and find them more easily when you do.
3. You don’t know how you got from point A to point B.
Ever drive somewhere and wonder how you arrived? A little scary, right? What that means is that you weren’t focused on the task at hand and were too distracted be be engaged with your surroundings.
4. You’re not getting enough sleep.
You need to give the tasks in front of you the proper attention they deserve to tackle them efficiently. Otherwise, they could end up costing you more time. Listen to that spilled milk or stubbed toe when they tell you that you need to slow it down.Sleep is required to fill your tank so that you can face the challenges of each day. Of course we all are short-changed sometimes for various reasons, but if it’s happening for an extended period of time, it’s often a signal that something has to give. Take it down a notch if at all possible.
5. You have no time to eat.
If you don’t slow down long enough to nourish yourself, you’ll find that you will eventually come to a screeching halt, regardless of how much you desire to keep going.
6. You’re plagued by clumsiness.
Are you frequently dropping things, bumping into things, tripping, spilling or breaking things? That’s a strong indicator you’re moving too fast. You need to give the tasks in front of you the proper attention they deserve to tackle them efficiently. Otherwise, they could end up costing you more time. Listen to that spilled milk or stubbed toe when they tell you that you need to slow it down.
7. You’re forgetting appointments.
“Where are you? You were supposed to be here 10 minutes ago.”
Heard that one lately?
Missing an appointment feels awful. You wind up disappointing both yourself and others. It can put relationships at risk and cost you money. If you’ve missed a meeting, you might want to decelerate before it happens a second time.
8. You’re always multitasking.
You might be an amazing multitasker, but once in a while it’s important to discover what it’s like to put all of your focus and energy into just one thing. With multitasking, it’s possible to spread yourself too thin. If your schedule seems to ruthlessly demand multitasking, see if you can delegate things to others or at least assign each activity its own time slot.
9. You’re repeatedly getting sick.
If you find yourself feeling ill a lot more often than usual, it’s likely your body’s way of letting you know you’ve got to slow things down and rest! Listen to what your body is saying and don’t wait for your health to decline further.
Taking notice of just one or two of these meaningful signs should be enough to ease your current pace, which will serve you well in the long run.
© Copyright 2015 GoodTherapy.org. All rights reserved. Permission to publish granted by Laurie Leinwand, MA, LPC, Adjusting to Change/Life Transitions Topic Expert Contributor
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