In today’s fast-paced world we are expected to scurry about doing our boss’s bidding, living up to the expectations of our friends and relations and consuming mass quantities of products in an effort to measure up to the image of an acceptable person as presented by the mass media. As a consequence, we end up getting less accomplished, falling short of satisfying ourselves and others, feeling frazzled and distracted, squandering our money and possessing material goods that we neither need nor want.
This kind of behavior is essentially playing into the hands of employers and various types of merchandisers who profit by causing us to feel that we are inadequate, lacking and in need of massive improvement. The more we feel this way, the more outrageous job requirements can be heaped upon us, the more accepting we are of unreasonable demands, and the more dross we are likely to buy in order to make ourselves acceptable. It is time for us all to stage a quiet revolution against this trend. Here are a few simple tips for calming down, concentrating, conserving your resources, being your best self, and knowing it.
Learn to say “No!” Choose your battles and choose your tasks. Don’t over-schedule. Accept your responsibilities carefully and give yourself enough time to complete each task completely and well. How you do a job and how well you do it are reflections of you. Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Accept and perform the duties that you can do well and in a timely manner.
Forget about multi-tasking. The idea that you can get lots of things done and done well simultaneously is a myth. All multi-tasking does is make you frazzled and disoriented. Organize your day one task at a time. Pay complete attention to each task. Do not start a new task until you have completed the task at hand. Of course, if you are doing a multi-step task and need to wait for glue to dry or a part to arrive, or some such, stop at a natural stopping place, set your task aside and move on to the next task until you can reasonably return to this one. But don’t organize your day like a plate juggler balancing multiple breakable tasks on flimsy poles.
Don’t hurry. Instead, give yourself plenty of time to reasonably do each task you wish to do. Be careful and deliberate and pay attention to each step you take. Enjoy your daily tasks. Take satisfaction in chores and jobs well done. Be careful and methodical, and don’t allow yourself to be rushed.
Don’t stress out about delays. If you are stopped in traffic, don’t fret. It won’t do you any good. Instead, take those few moments to relax, listen to music, and slow your breathing. Stressing out and causing adrenaline to course through your system won’t help anyone.
If you are late, don’t fall all over yourself apologizing and explaining yourself. Maintain your dignity. Explain the delay once, then move on to your work. Don’t allow an overbearing boss, spouse or friend to belittle you or interrogate you.
Consciously be in the moment. If you find yourself reliving some past drama as you drive down the road or find your thoughts racing ahead to leap into an anticipated battle, rein them in. Pay attention to the here and now. Attend to the task at hand, and cross your bridges when you come to them.
Pay attention to the people in your life. Be pleasant. When someone wants to speak with you, stop what you are doing, look them in the eye, and listen to what they are saying to you. Then respond. If you need to get back to your work after responding, say so, but don’t continue doing whatever you were doing, listening with half an ear, and avoiding eye-contact. It is rude, and it is nerve wracking for both you and the person who is trying to speak with you.
Count your pennies, and your dollars will take care of themselves. Don’t be brainwashed by the media into thinking you need the latest gadget, product, potion or notion to be alright. You are fine exactly as you are. Make your purchases carefully and mindfully. Decide consciously what you need and don’t need. When you decide that you truly have a genuine need for an item, shop wisely, compare prices, read labels, choose carefully, and purchase items that are of high quality that will last. If you practice this, you will be surprised by how much money you save and how few things you actually need.
When you eat, sit down at a table with your food on a plate. Eat with silverware or chopsticks or whatever utensil is appropriate. Have a beverage. Look at your food and be thankful for it. Take your time to chew and savor your food. If you are fortunate enough to have someone to share your meal with, enjoy that person’s company. Talk about pleasant topics while you are eating. Don’t complain or discuss unpleasant things at the table. Do everything you can to enjoy the food you have. If you practice this regularly, you may be surprised to find that you eat less, but feel more satisfied and that you trim down and feel more fit and energetic effortlessly.
Give yourself time to order your thoughts. Take at least 15 minutes a day – preferably twice a day – to think, pray, meditate or simply sit and breathe and rest your eyes. These few moments will help you to stay calm, focused, and organized. These moments of slowing down will help you order your thoughts and prioritize so that you will be able to face the demands of the world and address them in a calm and measured fashion.
Enjoy the weather! Mark Twain said, “Everyone complains about the weather, but no one does anything about it!” Since you can’t do anything about it, stop complaining. When it is hot and sunny, take a few minutes to sit in the sun and enjoy it’s heat on your face or your shoulders. When it is raining, watch it fall, listen to it on the roof, think about how good it is for the plants and the earth. Step outside and breath in the fresh air filled with negative ions to elevate your mood and refresh your spirits. If it is cold, wrap up in a blanket or sit by a fire and read a book. If it is windy, go fly a kite!
Now, you may be thinking that these are great ideas, but they sure won’t go over well! And that might be true if you just walked into your workplace or approached your relationships as a changed man or woman! Take it slowly. Internalize these ideas. Know that you have the right and the ability to live in peace and dignity, free from unreasonable demands. Begin by simply giving yourself a few seconds to consider each thing that is required of you and to give measured responses. Day by day, add a bit more awareness and a few more practices to help you stay in the moment and make reasonable decisions that will help you enjoy life while maintaining your sanity and your dignity. Make a gradual transition, and you will find that those around you will transition as well. Constantly evolve to become stronger, more sure of yourself, more reliable, and confident. Your growth will benefit you and those around you.
For more on living a life of peace, sanity, and dignity, you may enjoy:
Dealing With Stress Through Gratitude: Learn to Choose Your Battles & Count Your Blessings
Advice On Gaining Health By Nurturing Your Self
Avoid Being Hooked by Irrational Anger
Advice On Living A Drama Free Life