Recently I posted about How Instant Gratification and Constant Media has Affected My Life. It’s one of the biggest issues I’ve had in a while. The constant on-the-go mentality and getting bored from just one thing has made me want to slow my life down, to take myself out of the fast lane, so to speak.
I’ve decided on a set of rules for myself to keep my on track with slowing my life down and making the little things more enjoyable. Here is my list.
Reduce Phone Time
One of the biggest culprits is my phone. When I’m bored the first thing I do is whip out my phone and browse Reddit or Tumblr. While inherently not a bad thing, both places can contain interesting and educational content, but more often than not, it’s just pictures of cute animals and memes.
I want to get myself to a point where when I’m bored I can not automatically default to my phone. There have been times I’ve been so engrossed in what I’ve been reading that I’ll check it while waiting at a stop light.
I will still let myself use it for watching YouTube or a baseball game, since I like to curl up in bed and watch videos and bringing my laptop to bed isn’t comfortable.
I’m going to try to stop looking at things while at work, and definitely after work when I’m home. I’ll keep it on and somewhere nearby in case I get a phone call or something, but I won’t actively be using it.
One Thing at a Time
The largest issue I have is hands down needing to do multiple things at once. There are things like listening to music while you clean the house, or in the shower which are reasonable in my opinion. Then there’s me needing watch a Tim Pool video while simultaneously playing the Sims and scrolling through Reddit.
Earlier today I played Fallout 4 by itself for the first time in a while. I had been getting a bit bored with the current character I was playing so I would put on a video while I played. But then I wasn’t putting my attention fully on either of those things.
I have at least 3-5 books on my ‘to be read’ list. I keep adding more and more to this list over time, but I haven’t been able to get to any of the books. Why? Because my attention span is so low that reading a book seems painfully boring to me.
I had been avoiding anything really heavy since I was an English major in college, and with the amount of reading you have to do, there’s a good chance it might make you take a break from reading. That’s exactly what I did. It took until within the last year to finish a book that I had attempted to get through for years. And I mean more like 5-7 years. It was such a great feeling to finally finish the book, but I was reluctant to pick up another one. It’s like I’ve got book burn out.
This is something I have a hard time with. Relaxing in itself is hard for me to do, but traditional meditation is ever worse.
I’ll have to start with guided meditation to get me used to not doing anything for a short amount of time. I had attempted to do this a few years ago but I was doing it before going to sleep and if I had ear buds in and listening to a guided meditation on YouTube I risked falling asleep during the video and YouTube continuing on and killing my ear drums and waking me up with an ad later on. Basically, it ended up causing more problems than solutions at the time.
So this time I’m going to try doing it at a different time when I don’t have to worry about falling asleep and that being a problem.
Going for Walks in Nature
This is going to be a bit harder for me to implement right now since the pollen count has been consistently through the roof. But I do take walks during work with some coworkers almost daily for a small break and to stretch out legs.
There’s a reservoir near me that I could go to on a weekend and just walk around and enjoy nature. I’m not that big into nature, but I’m learning to like it.
The walking in and of itself is a good thing, and being alone on a trail or hiking path is the kind of alone that I really like. I rarely do this because of how bad my allergies are (see: A Guide to Allergy Season From Someone Allergic to Spring) but I hope once the summer rolls around I can find a day that isn’t too hot, or a day that’s cloudy, where I can get out of the house for a little while.
I’ve been a bit of a slump lately. I wasn’t able to think of anything to write for a good month, it’s why there’s such a lull between my posts lately. It was like all of my creativity just ran out.
But writing leads to more writing. So something like free writing every morning, or finding a writing prompt a few times a week, or both, can help keep the creative juices flowing.
Keep Myself Accountable
The biggest issue with all of this is I can create all the plans in the world to help me improve my life, but if I don’t hold myself accountable and stick to my plan then nothing will change. I also have the discipline and will power of a paper bag. I’m terrible with keeping myself in check, but this is something I really want to work on, and writing up about it is the first step to keeping me accountable. If anyone wants to be emotional support via Instagram, I’m all for it!
Do you have any other tips for taking your life out of the fast lane?
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