Slow Down

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Hello!

My meeting with the director of the Harbourside Organic Farmer’s Market went well! I was pretty anxious about the meeting beforehand, like I always am before meetings. When will I learn that things are not as scary as I imagine them to be?

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Susan got a box of Glo Bars to sample and take to the board members.

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She also got a sample of my up and coming Gluten-free and Raw Glo Bar.

The market sounds perfect for my Glo Bars. It is a smaller market, but it features organic vendors. It sounds like there is going to be a wonderful mix of farmer’s and bakeries too! I am told it is the type of market where you really get to know your customers and develop great relationships with them. Often the farmer’s know their customers by name too!

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I have a lot to do now! My next step is to fill out the vendor application and submit all of the required documents. If the board approves me, I have to purchase a 10’x10’ canopy tent, a 6’ table, design marketing materials/signs, and HIRE some help! We also have to figure out the logistics of how to get the table, tent, and boxes of bars to the market each week (will they fit in our compact cars?) all before June 19th!

Breathe, Ange, breathe! ;)

A perfect lead in for my next hot topic…

Slow Down

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First a couple questions for you…

  • How many times a day are you doing several things at once?
  • How many times a day are you just focusing on ONE task?
  • How many times do you try to do things as fast as possible and when you finally stop you notice that you are on edge or holding your breath?

[My answers: All the time, rarely, all the time.]

This week I came across a great article on the Huffington Post called 10 Ways To Bring Meaning Into Your Life by Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. The article talks about the importance of slowing down in our lives. Many of us live each day at mach speed as if we are racing against the clock. Don’t get me wrong, getting things accomplished and crossed off the To-Do list is a great feeling, but do we always have to go about it at such a frantic pace?

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Goldstein’s article was a breath of fresh air for me. Since I have been back from vacation, I have been playing the catch up game.

Any time that I feel that I am behind in my work, I automatically feel a sense of internal urgency.

I work as fast as I can to catch up and this often leaves me feeling stressed and tense, both of which we know are not good for productivity and creativity.

I loved the tips in this article and I decided that I would start today and try out a couple! Today I tried the following:

1. Slow Down

Goldstein says,For five minutes: Whatever you are doing, just do it slightly slower. At work, we are all given tasks to do. One time per day, for five minutes, do that task a little bit slower. Do not do the task in slow motion, or take breaks from the task, simply do it a little bit slower.”

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Simple yet genius, right?

I Tried It:

I decided to try this for five minutes as I was doing my shipping and customs paper work this morning.

For US shipping I have a lot of paperwork and electronic files to submit before I can even print the shipping label. I need to do a FDA Prior Notice, a commercial invoice, a business invoice, and a shipping label all for just one US parcel. My current system right now is quite frantic- I am going at mach speed, filling out different forms all at once. It is not a pretty sight at times.

Today, I decided to take 5 minutes and ‘slow down’. Instead of filling out multiple forms at once, I would tackle one at a time and finish it before moving onto the next form.

VERDICT: This worked great! I felt calm, collected, in control, and I didn’t dread the task as much as I usually do. I even put some music on in the background to make the task more pleasant. I found that it went much better and I don’t think my productivity was compromised (albeit improved!). Instead of 5 minutes, I ended up doing the entire session at this relaxed pace and I felt like my sanity was intact.

2) Shower in the moment.

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Goldstein says, ‘Take a bath or shower. Preferably a bath if you have one, but even with a shower, you can take your moment in the shower or bath to feel the warmth of the water or feel how your body is immersed in the water. How does your skin feel? Do you notice any smells? Is your hair wet? Just be in the moment and notice all your senses … breathe.”

I tried it:

I’m guilty of thinking about anything and everything while in the shower. I am always rattling off my to-do list in my mind and often, I am in a big rush. This morning I told myself that I would not think about my to-do list, worries, or what was going on in my life. I would simply just be in the moment and use the shower as a rejuvenating experience rather than another ‘to-do’ on the list. I also used it as an opportunity to breathe deep and engage in a mini meditation. It was much more enjoyable this way!

For the rest of Elisha Goldstein’s tips see here. You may also like my recent hot topic post on the dangers of multi-tasking called ‘Jack of all trades, master of none?’

Today’s questions- Do you often feel a sense of urgency to get tasks accomplished? Do you feel tense during the day because you try to do so many things at once? Do you rush things- like eating?

It is my goal to to do things more MINDFULLY- including eating! I am guilty of eating too fast and not giving myself enough time to sit and enjoy the experience.

~~~

We seem to be going through a period of nostalgia, and everyone seems to think yesterday was better than today.  I don’t think it was, and I would advise you not to wait ten years before admitting today was great.  If you’re hung up on nostalgia, pretend today is yesterday and just go out and have one hell of a time.  ~Art Buchwald

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{ 84 comments… read them below or add one }

Jenny April 14, 2010

I love that – “When Will i learn things aren’t as scary as i think of them to be?” I need to remember that a lot!!! I find if I just stop and breathe, I realize that I can do it!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 14, 2010

I can’t tell you how many times I have been worked up or anxious about something and then afterwards I was like WOW that wasn’t bad at all! Silly anxiety…

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Jessica @ The Process of Healing April 14, 2010

Oh gosh, I am SO bad about that!

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Rachel @ Suburban Yogini April 14, 2010

Have you read In Praise of Slow by Carl Honore? I highly recommend it. Lots of stuff to think about regarding slowing down all aspects of your life. I especially like the bit about the Slow Food Movement. Just don’t read it too fast!

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Katie@ Two Lives, One Lifestyle April 14, 2010

Let’s see, as I read this entry that I clicked on in Twitter, while I wait for some simulations to run for my thesis project (6 files open on my computer right now), and intermittently chatting on Gchat? I’d say this was good timing :). One thing I do at night is make a to-do list for the next day so I can get to sleep and enjoy my morning, with a plan already in hand. I’m guilty of reading blogs while I eat breakfast though!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 14, 2010

haha sounds familiar… ;)

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nut April 14, 2010

thanks for the article link..i will read it later tonight when have more chance.

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Rosa April 14, 2010

Yay! I’m glad your business is taking off. Come to the US too~ :)

I guess I do a gazillion things at once all the time. But I’ve been less busy lately so I’ve been trying to slow down!

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Jessica @ How Sweet It Is April 14, 2010

I am always anxious and have an urgency to do everything. I need to read this over and over!

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janetha April 14, 2010

these are some great tips! thanks for the reminder to slow down and BREATHE

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Chloe (Naturally Frugal) April 14, 2010

Ha, I also do a zillion things at once and can’t keep my mind from racing. Its the worst at night, but I’ve figured out that counting backwards from 1000 leaves me drifting off to sleep pretty quickly. I really have to focus on only counting though, and nothing else.
These are all great tips, I am definitely going to try implementing some in my daily routine!

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Alison April 14, 2010

I think the term is “mach speed” and I’m so guilty of it but for different reasons…I spend time checking facebook, looking at blogs and twitter and THEN realize I only have X amount of time let to get done the tasks I promised myself I’d finish for the day.
I really liked her shower tip!
Best of luck with the farmer’s market – I bet your booth will be adorable!

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Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman April 14, 2010

Yes, all the time, even now. Most days I feel like 24 hours is not enough–not even close. Multitasking is the way I get things done. But maybe I’ll try the shower tip. I guess there I can spare a minute!

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Nikki T April 14, 2010

Good Luck on your entry to the Organic Market- it would be great to get a spot at a market that really gets to know it’s customers…that’s what markets should be about anyway!

I wish I lived in Ontario- I’d love to work at the market for Glo Bakery!!

Great article on slowing down. Thanks for sharing it!

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Lisa April 14, 2010

What a great topic. I find myself going, going, going and never stopping. I am always moving or multi-tasking and I never rest! No wonder I have anxiety!

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Carly @ The Road To Health April 14, 2010

I am totally the same way when it comes to a nerve wracking meeting, I always build it up too much and then feel great about it after because it wasn’t so bad at all! I always tell myself to try and remember that for next time, but I get so nervous anyways! ha ha. GREAT post Angela! Lots of wise advice to remember :)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 14, 2010

I tell myself that everytime too, but no matter how many times I do, I still feel the same way! It’s annoying. Some day… ;)

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Kelly April 14, 2010

My answers – all day long, never, a lot.

Right now I have 8 internet windows open, 7 IM’s, 3 spreadsheets and 6 other programs running… and this is a slow day :) I also can’t do regular weightlifting sets because I can’t stand the rest in between, I have to do circuits or supersets.

I believe it’s how I’m successful at life though, stress, pressure and deadlines seem to get the greatest output from me.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 14, 2010

hhaha I frequently have at least 20 windows or documents open at once.

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Lisa (bakebikeblog) April 14, 2010

What a great post :) I too normally have mutiple things on the go – so taking a break (or a shower) sounds like a good suggestion!

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Jil April 14, 2010

I’m always anxious before big stuff…I cope better now though. I just keep reminding myself…they’re just people…they’re just people. :) Also, glad your meeting went well! – They’d be lucky to have you!

I agree – we need to sit back and enjoy our lives more.

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Megan @ The Ugly Nutrition Truth April 14, 2010

Great post, and wonderful quote! One of my faves too. :)

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Laura H. April 14, 2010

Since my days are often hectic and overloaded, one practice that I make myself stick to is actually sitting down at the table to eat breakfast with no TV, computer, book, etc. These aren’t necessarily long, leisurely meals but it does allow me to focus on what I’m eating and I use it as a time to quiet my mind before the day starts.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 14, 2010

I do that too, for 80-90% of my meals and it helps a lot.

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Staceyhttp://stacey-healthylife.blogspot.com/ April 14, 2010

Everything will come together for the farmers market. Use your resources around you such as friends and family. I’m sure they would love to help you and be involved.

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Erin (Travel, Eat, Repeat) April 14, 2010

I have pre-meeting nerves too and the worst are before a job interview. I have a few coming up and my stomach is totally in knots about it. Thanks for these tips!

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Heather (Heather's Dish) April 14, 2010

oh, i totally go through all kinds of stress and anxiety…just the title of this post made me stop and take a quick breath! way to go on rockin’ the farmer’s market meeting!

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Morgan @ Life After Bagels April 14, 2010

oh goodness me . . . I’m currently eating a snack, putting songs on my ipod, reading posts, and thinking about what order I should get back to work in (clean my desk, go for a run, do homework). All of that after a twelve hour day that started at 5am.

I feel like this post is SPEAKING to me!

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Steph April 14, 2010

Just so you know, it’s actually “Mach” speed, not “mock” speed.

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Lauren April 14, 2010

I would SOOO work for you!!! :) I wish I lived closer! Actually, I will drive down every weekend just to do that…you know, if you were wondering. ;) lol

PLUS, I am thinking about doing the Try-a-tri in Milton!!! :)

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Chantal April 14, 2010

Guilty! Just as I was reading your section about slowing down, I realized I was doing 3 things at the same time… Congrats on getting out to the board meeting, I’m sure it’ll work out great and the farmers’ market sounds awesome!

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Laura April 14, 2010

Saw this hilarious waterproof notepad – just in case you need it for your to-do lists and great ideas that come to you in the shower!!

http://www.vat19.com/dvds/aquanotes-waterproof-notepad.cfm

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 14, 2010

omg I want that…I neeeeed that lol

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Allison @ Food For Healing April 14, 2010

congrats on the farmers market stuff, thats an awesome opportunity.
i love relaxing during a shower. Its one of the best times to just turn off everything running through your head and just enjoy a hot shower, or a nice bubble bath!

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Lisa April 14, 2010

Man oh man do I EVER know about the art of doing too many things at once. I’m currently in my fourth year of my anthropology BA and am constantly rushing to finish papers, do course readings, study for exams etc. This mentality of rushing bleeds into the rest of my life, where I speed up my exercise, and – I totally agree with you here – speed up the pace at which I eat my meals.

I will definitely give the shower technique a try, as I’m about to have one. Thanks for the tips!

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eatdrinkandbemerrynyc April 14, 2010

I love the tips and congrats on all of your incredible, continued successes. You are SO inspirational!!!
Sara

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Sarah @ THE FOODIE DIARIES April 14, 2010

oooh yes. i feel like i live in a sense of urgency. which is kind of crazy since im self-employed. actually, i guess that’s at the root of a lot of why i need to be on top of myself… read the article and loved it.

ooh and that first pic is SO depressing! clearly taken in NYC haha

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 14, 2010

I agree…I always thought being self-employed I would be much more relaxed, but I have come to realize that it is not the job that determines your mindset- it is your personality and how you handle things. I am working on changing my approach!

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Julia @ British Bride April 14, 2010

Loving your post today. I too am trying to live more mindfully – hence cutting out false stimulants like alcohol. Wrote about this today actually. Good luck in your quest.

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jodie April 14, 2010

Congrats on all your hard work. I am so happy you are making Raw bars now, I can’t wait to taste it. I had a really bad Raw bar experience a few a weeks ago. :(

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Jolene April 14, 2010

I try to enjoy every moment of eating, showering, and other little things like that. I do not rush, and I try to think about what I am doing. I have always taken time to enjoy, and be in the moment.

I rarely multi-task … I focus on one thing at a time. This gets to be challenging while working full time, blogging, taking 3 classes, writing a thesis, studying for GREs, being a wife, and having a social life … but I try my best!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 14, 2010

So it IS possible??! :) Hope for me yet…

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John April 14, 2010

I only have urgency to get things done when I procrastinate which seems to be a lot :-)

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Michelle @ Give Me the Almond Butter April 14, 2010

A fabulous and inspiring post Ang!

I tend to eat dinner while commenting on posts with the tv on looking at my to-do list on my whiteboard seeing what else I need to accomplish that day.

I do get a lot done. People in my studio are amazed at my efficiency but I’m super wound up!

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AGS April 14, 2010

This is interesting to me. I find that focusing in on one task is more efficient and produces a better product.

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Carolyn April 14, 2010

I’m so glad you’ve been able to slow down! Isn’t it a nice feeling when you realize you don’t HAVE to be doing a ton of things all at once for everything to get done? =)

I also hope your leg/groin area is feeling better, and that you can go for a run tomorrow!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 14, 2010

Thanks Carolyn! :)
It is nice realizing that the world will not collapse if I don’t get everything done. Sometimes it feels that way, but I am trying to change my urgency and do one thing at a time.

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Mimi (Damn the Freshman 15) April 14, 2010

Wow, that article is fantastic! I definitely need to work on just being in the moment and focusing on one thing. I get into loose-cannon-scattershot mode too easily sometimes, and it’ll stress me out for no reason. Ah, for the love of zen!

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Kelsey April 14, 2010

sometimes i forget to chew my food when im stressed and rushed. ive learnt that when im really on the go i need to take 10 min at meal time.. close the door (if im in a room) and just sit in silence and re-group before continuing. otherwise i get an upset stomach and when i get home i jsut crash on sugar. im sure lots of people are like this.

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Cynthia (It All Changes) April 14, 2010

Congrats on possibly going to the farmer’s market. I wish we had your bars in my farmer’s market :-)

I have to remind myself to slow down a lot. I get so busy that I forget I need to breathe.

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Sarah April 14, 2010

Congrats on the farmer’s market!!

Slowing down is incredibly difficult. I’m always thinking about what else I could be doing with that time which is why I’m horrible at meditation. I blame all the pressures placed on our generation and the work work work mentality… to maximize the profit while minimizing production time.

Thanks for the encouragement to stop and breathe :)

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