Most of us are just plain too busy. Not only that but we easily get sucked into being busy doing things that really aren’t going to count for time and eternity. We talked in another post about toobusyitis – the condition that we nearly all have but don’t even always see as a problem. Now it’s time to talk about a “treatment” plan for toobusyitis. There are some simple steps that we can implement that will make a huge difference when done consistently. If you are wondering, “Why do I feel busy all the time?” then you have come to the right place. In this post, we are going to look at how to slow down your life and focus on the things that really matter.
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
1. Devotions First (Don’t wait for time)
I’m not going to tell you that this is always an easy thing to do. As we talked about in the post about toobusyitis and being too busy, we have an enemy who loves to distract us and make us “too busy” to spend time with the Lord. The key is to not wait until we have the time. Most of us don’t have a lot of extra time lying around. We have to prioritize the things that are important to us and make them happen. And what is more important to us than spending time with Jesus and becoming more like Him?
It might be helpful to have a set time of day when you have your devotions. Or, you could habit stack it by having it before or after some activity that you do daily. I find that the earlier in the day I can have my devotions, the better. The house is usually quieter earlier, and there are fewer distractions. Not only that, but I need that time with Jesus, getting His strength for the day. This is still an area where I have a lot of room for growth. Together, let’s ask the Lord to help us prioritize our time with Him, okay?
2. Less Technology Time – More Planner Time
We all know how natural and easy it is to pick up technology throughout the day. Maybe you grab your phone and start scrolling, open up your laptop, or turn on your tablet. One of the reasons that we find it so easy to use these devices frequently is because of where we keep them. What if you made a trade?
You could try putting your devices out of sight and not keeping them near you as often. Instead, put your planner where you normally would keep your phone. Try picking up your planner throughout the day when you are taking a break. Take a minute to write down a few things or evaluate where you are at with your goals and habits. Make your planner more accessible than your phone. If you’ve been thinking about how to slow down your life, then go ahead and give this tip a try.
3. Brain Dump Your To-do List
This is a common term and you have probably heard it multiple times. It is common for us to become overwhelmed because we have so many things going, and we are trying to store them all in our minds. When you write down the things that are on your mind, it helps multiple things. For one thing, it frees up your mind to think more clearly. You can stop running everything over and over in your mind, trying not to forget it. If you have been wondering how to slow down mentally, then I definitely recommend trying a brain dump!
Another benefit is that it gives you a clearer picture of what you actually have going. You may be surprised at the quantity of things you are trying to undertake. You may even think, “So that’s why I am overwhelmed and can’t seem to get it all together. I really need to learn how to slow down and relax.”
After taking a good look at your brain dump, you will probably need to categorize your list by order of importance or time frame that it needs to be done. Also, evaluate and see if there are some things that can be put off to a later date or even eliminated. If your list is often longer than the amount of time you have in a day, then that’s a good sign that you need to eliminate some things.
4. Talk to the Lord
When you are thinking of eliminating things from your list, the first place to start is prayer. Remember: God does not give you more to do than He gives you time and energy for. We, on the other hand, may try to give ourselves more activities than what we have time for. I plead guilty!
Talk to the Lord about what things He would have you do. Ask Him which activities He would have you to give up or put off until later. Ask Him how He would have you slow down in life and where He wants you to spend your time. He has a perfect plan for your life and wants to show His will to you!
Seek the Lord and his strength, seek his face continually.
1 Chronicles 16:11
5. Use Accountability to Slow Down Your Life
Besides talking to the Lord, it is also a good idea to talk to family members about your to-do list. Sometimes a fresh perspective is helpful, especially when you are talking to someone who knows you well. When you talk things out, it can become more clear if you are undertaking way too much.
Accountability is also good if you struggle with procrastinating. Sometimes the problem of being overwhelmed is not strictly from having too much going. It can be from putting things off and letting them pile up. If you’re anything like me, then you know what I’m talking about. Maybe you wait to answer emails until you have so many built up that it seems overwhelming. Or, you let the dishes pile up instead of washing a few at a time.
Whatever area it is that you struggle with procrastinating, get accountability! Tell a family member or friend the habit you are seeking to change, and ask them to check in on you. You might want to set a time each week to report how it is going. It’s also possible that you can help provide accountability for your accountability partner, and together you can encourage each other to press on in what the Lord has called you to!
Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.
- Devotions first! Don’t wait until you have time. Carve out a time each day to spend with the Lord, seeking His strength. Remember to ask Him what He would have you work on.
- Use your planner. Keep it handy, and pick it up and write in it throughout the day. Write down those to-do lists instead of keeping them swirling through your head.
- Find an accountability partner who will encourage you to spend your time wisely. See if you can help them in the same way!
Do you use a planner? How does it help you to slow down your life and simplify things? Did any of these tips resonate with you?
Until next time, slow down, seek the Lord, and prioritize the most important things!