Today's culture values packed schedules, speed, efficiency, productivity, crossing things off the list, and working oneself to the bone. Are you tired just from reading that list?  

We're told rest is a sign of weakness and slowing down means you don't have it all together.  

Jay Shetty knows the opposite is correct. On a recent episode of On Purpose with Jay Shetty, he discussed the pitfalls of the hard and fast lifestyle.

Addicted to Speed

“I really feel that our focus and addiction to speed and doing things instantly is what is creating so many issues in our lives, in our bodies, in our minds, and in our relationships right now,” Jay Shetty said. 

Any decent driver knows that not slowing down when navigating curves, speed bumps, or poor road conditions is risky. We don't think twice about taking our foot off the gas when we encounter a challenging road situation.  

Jay Shetty wonders why we're slow to do the same when making decisions, planning our days, or cutting back to have a healthier life.

“When you slow down,” Jay Shetty said, “you are actually increasing the longevity and sustainability of your car. None of these times do you see going slower as a weakness, or a weaker mindset. You don't see going slower as less productive, effective, or efficient. But in our lives, in our busy, hectic, overwhelming lives, we see slowing down as a mistake. We see slowing down as a weakness.”

Slow Down For Health and Happiness

While it may take a while to adopt a different mindset, Jay is sure that a slower pace of life leads to happier, healthier, and more productive people.  

“Giving yourself space and time can actually lead to the birth of more creativity, better creativity, and some of your best work,” Shetty said.

While slowing down for productivity's sake is an excellent goal, Jay warns that there are also more serious reasons at stake. Burnout is a real condition with serious repercussions. 

“If we don't choose to intentionally and consciously slow down and stop being in a rush, your body and mind will force you to do it anyway.” Jay Shetty said. “When they force you to do that, it's even worse because now you have to get better again and heal again. You actually end up wasting more time.”

He went on to explain that taking time for ourselves allows us to control, master, and train ourselves to be more effective and productive. When taking this into account, it's hard to deny the benefits of slowing down and refocusing on what is essential.  

Practice Makes Perfect

Jay Shetty believes slowing down is one of the most important things a person can do to set themselves up for success in the new year. Learning the art of slowing down takes practice, but mastering it can change your life.   

Shetty shared five areas where slowing down improves productivity and overall well-being. These five areas also serve as a good practice ground for stretching slowing down muscles.

Never Rush Decision-Making

“The first thing to never do in a rush and getting ready to slow down in 2020 is making a big decision,” Jay Shetty explained. “You don't want to make big decisions in a rush.” 

Decision fatigue is a slippery slope. Our brains get fatigued making small, insignificant decisions over and over all day long. When it comes time to make bigger, more important decisions, the brain can't take on the weight of that decision.  

Jay Shetty urged listeners to think about what insignificant decisions they can remove from their daily lives. Some ideas include:

  • Planning and prepping meals for the next week 
  • Eating the same thing for breakfast every day  
  • Choosing and laying out clothes a week in advance  
  • Ordering grocery pick-up
  • Scheduling chores 

These things sound mundane, but that is the point. Taking the guesswork and brain energy out of small decisions preserves energy for more important matters as they arise.  

Never Rush Trust

“Trust takes time to build. Like a bridge,” said Jay Shetty.  A good reputation is built on trust that develops over time and testing. 

Picking up the pieces of a broken relationship is painful and a lot of work. We run the risk of getting hurt and making more work for ourselves in the long run if we trust someone before they have proven themselves trustworthy. 

Slowing down and waiting before trusting someone helps strengthen the relationship and build trust over time. It also helps us avoid the potential mess of broken trust. 

Never Make Snap Judgements

It would be nice to think we always make a great first impression, but we all know that's not the case. The same is true for others. An off day can cause someone to speak or act differently from their typical character.

Being quick to judge makes it easy to write someone off based on one event or interaction hastily. Jay Shetty cautions that this should be avoided.

“You only saw them in a snapshot,” Shetty said. “So you can't really accurately judge someone's character immediately. We have to be very careful about how we make judgments of someone's character based on a single experience or an event.”

Never Eat in a Rush

“Slow down! The food isn't going anywhere!”

Jay Shetty may sound like your mom here, but both Shetty and your mother have a point. Eating too fast is not healthy for your body, and it's not great for your manners, either.  

Slowing down and savoring food promotes conversation and connection at the table. It puts other people at ease, it allows time and space to talk, and it gives your body time to tell you if it's full.   

“When you eat slowly, the brain has more time, so therefore you eat fewer calories,” said Jay Shetty. “When you eat quickly, you end up eating more calories because the brain doesn't have time to tell you that you are full.”

More importantly, slowing down the pace of consumption is kinder to your body. Food eaten too quickly doesn't digest well. 

Never Rush Close Friendship

Jay Shetty also challenged listeners to evaluate their close friendships.

“Think for a moment about the people in your life that you consider to be close to you. Ask yourself how much quality time you're spending with them.” 

Jay Shetty encouraged listeners to remember that relationships take time.

“We need to slow down our pace sometimes to give it that time to really be meaningful, to really be powerful, to really be something that's going to last and be of value.”

Overall, slowing down and using time wisely can do wonders for health and productivity.  

“That's what slowing down is for. It's for sharpening,” Jay Shetty said. “It's not for being lazy. It's not for being complacent. It's for pausing. Your phone needs to recharge every night. Your laptop needs to recharge. Everything needs to recharge. Are you giving yourself space, time and effort to recharge?

Make slowing down a goal as you start 2020, then watch your life change for the better.  

Listen to the entire On Purpose with Jay Shetty podcast episode on “5 Things To Never Do In a Rush & Slowing Down in 2020” now in the iTunes store or on Spotify. For more inspirational stories and messages like this, check out Jay's website at jayshetty.me.