I was moving too fast as usual. Racing down a steep hill in San Francisco to go move my car, I tripped and badly fractured my foot. “No weight bearing of any kind for two months,” the doctor instructed following my x-rays. When I explained that I had a business to run, and two young kids to shuttle around, he was unmoved. “Figure it out,” he shrugged.
In retrospect, I had been secretly hoping that something would slow me down. My life had been moving too fast. I had created the life I had always wanted but left myself little time to enjoy it. For the past few years, I had been adding things to my life without subtracting. More clients, more meetings, more collaborations, more social plans, more travel. All of these were positives, but they cumulatively left me with little to no space to recharge, rest, or be present.
During the past two months, I have had to dramatically shift my pace of life in order to heal and rehab my broken foot. It has been a huge challenge, and counter to my nature, but now, on the other side of it, I am grateful. I have been able to recreate my schedule, I have learned to delegate and ask for help, and I have had some of the sweetest moments ever with my friends and family who showed up big to help. Now that my foot has mainly healed, and I am getting back into my normal pace, I have developed a few simple hacks to ensure that I manage my speed better.
Hack One: Schedule Your Leisure Time
If you’re anything like me you will go, go, go until you drop, and then lament not having any down time. Believe me: It’s not going to happen unless you make it a priority and schedule it. Try scheduling consistent time each day to relax and recharge. Even a 15-minute break to take a brisk walk, or read a magazine, will leave you feeling refreshed.
Hack Two: Commit to Unplugging
Plan when you will unplug each day and commit to it. The stimulation of social media, email, and text alerts can be both addictive and draining. Be conscious about your usage, and try unplugging from all electronics at the same time each day so you can give your brain a well-deserved break. You can read about how to recharge with a full digital detox right here.
Hack Three: Start a Morning Routine
Try starting your day with some sort of intentional morning practice before you dive into your day. I personally love stretching, or a quick AM yoga practice, paired with the Five Minute Journal which helps me set a few goals and intentions for the day. So much has been made of the power of a solid morning routine that this one is really worth investing some time and energy into. Check out this book for some great inspiration and ideas.
Hack Four: Delegate Like It’s Your Job
When I couldn’t walk or drive, I was forced to delegate like crazy. I had to ask friends and family for all sorts of favors and also find creative ways to outsource simple errands like grocery shopping and meal planning. This was not easy, but I quickly learned that people really do want to help, and we are living in the golden age of automating tasks. Another way to outsource is to trade offerings with friends or family. Try setting up a regular meal exchange or a childcare swap so everyone can take turns contributing and also get some time off.
Hack Five: Subtract the Unnecessary
My friend, Ariana, once told me she was eliminating everything from her life that wasn’t absolutely necessary. When I broke my foot I was forced to do the same. Once I started, I got increasingly comfortable with this exercise. I said “No,” to social plans and birthday parties and events. I declined work opportunities. I picked up baked goods for the school bake sale instead of baking them myself. Luckily, you don’t have to break a bone to simplify your life. Try clarifying your top priorities and subtracting the things that feel unnecessary. Get real about where you want to put your energy and let go of the rest. I promise, it will feel liberating!
How do you carve out space to rest and recharge? I’d love to hear from you!