On Slow Living & Productivity

I recently wrote a blog post called “The Cult of Busy-ness” and I think when some people read the title, they think I was criticizing busy-ness. That is not the case. What I was referring to is when people either pretend they are busier than others or use their busy lifestyle to lord it over others who take more time to relax/enjoy life. I love being productive as much as I enjoy a relaxing nature walk or book. What makes busyness a cult is when people use that as their one identity and they don’t allow room for rest, relationships, or fun moments.

Ironically, I have been accused both of being too busy and not being busy enough. The reasons for this are vast. If one looks at my Tik tok videos or Instagram stories, they might think all I do is go on nature walks, travel, and never work. If one looks mostly at my Twitter account or blog, they might think all I ever do is work/write/keep busy. In truth, it’s always been a balance of the two. During my time in Vancouver, I feel I’ve mastered the balance of being productive and relaxing. I’ve found a balanced routine that works well for me.

It’s those periods of rest that can give you the energy to do what you need when the time comes. As someone who has self-published 16 books in 10 years while working full time and keeping fit, I think I’ve proven that you can be both productive and relaxed. Slow living isn’t about moving slowly or doing less (Though it can be, depending), it’s about being more intentional with how you go about your day. You don’t need to fill your day with unnecessary tasks and it’s okay to rest in between periods of productivity.

Everyone has their own idea of what balance is and for some, slow living might not be practical if they’re moving up in their career while raising kids and the like, but one can always make time to relax or smell the roses.

Thank you so much for reading today.

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27 comments

  1. That’s right. You need to have balance. In 2018 my company (Siemens Logistics) sent me to Oklahoma City to help with the installation and setup of a robotic system and to be present during the testing. We worked 7 days per week, 16 hours per day, basically not a minute to yourself. It lasted one month and during that month my wife had to handle everything at home including the passing of one of our dogs (Ryu a Japanese Chin). I got behind in everything else in my life and I only saw my wife briefly twice during that month. In the end it was for absolutely nothing. All I got was an empty thank you. Since then I’ve improved my ability to say no. By the way in my native country Sweden that would have been illegal, what the company did to us. Being busy, very busy, may just mean that you allow others to take advantage of you, which is not something to be proud of. You can work but you have to live your life as well.

    • That is a really interesting point that you make that sometimes if we’re too busy with work it means we’re allowing someone to take advantage of us.
      Yikes that sounds like you had quite a busy time with work. I’m glad you learned to say no after that. It’s great to have a job that pays well and lets you grow, but like you say, you always want to make sure you balance it out with some resting and time with your friends/loved ones too. πŸ™‚ Great comment!

      • To specify you are so right about “you always want to make sure you balance it out with some resting and time with your friends/loved ones too”. It is one of my regrets. I wanted to be there for Ryu and I wasn’t, and it was for nothing.

      • I hope you don’t feel guilty about it anymore. You learned that work isn’t worth giving all your time to. The main thing is you’ve learned to strike a good balance now, right? πŸ™‚

      • Well to be honest, I do feel guilty about it. Ryu was a very smart boy who got cancer before his time should have been up, and it was too difficult for my wife to be with him during the euthanasia which I knew it would be, but I was so caught up with showing what a team player I was. Ryu died alone with the veterinarian Dr. Sara Thomas. Luckily she is a very caring veterinarian whom Ryu trusted. I didn’t get a cent from the Oklahoma adventure and no career boost of any kind. Why did I do it? I forgot how to live and I will forever regret it. I hope Ryu will forgive me.

      • I am so sorry you had to go through that. You couldn’t have known the outcome, but it’s understandable you must be so sad to have lost little Ryu.
        I hate that companies exploit their best workers how they did that to you – no raise or bonus or anything after they made you work so many more hours and took away some special parts of your personal life.
        Ryu will forgive you, because remember all the times you showed him love before you got busy. ❀ Animals know our true feelings. You don't need to worry about that, but I'm really sorry all the time it had to happen like that.

      • Hope you’re doing okay now. I felt guilty back when my beautiful border collie had to be put down when I was away. I was going to buy a last minute plane ticket to be there with her, but my parents wanted to take her right away. It killed me that I couldn’t be with her in that final moment … and i felt bad I never made enough money to give her a big place in the country again. About 13 years later, I try to just think of the good times and she knew I loved her, even though I couldn’t be with her as she passed on.

      • That’s very true. I never thought growing up with my dog that I couldn’t be there when the time came … thought she’d have a few more years. Like you say, we can’t be perfect all the time. I hope it helps being able to look back and remember all the good times you two had together.

  2. Definitely understand what you meant about busyness and slow living – I’m trying to do more of that (but it’s super tough with exams πŸ˜‚)

  3. Hi Sara,
    the problem is the network you are usually in. I was a professional author and I suppose you know as an author you run a little company with people doing the research, with editors, agents in the different countries, the legal and PR department etc. They all make you run because they get a percentage of your income. I didn’t get the balance then. But on the long run I got the balance because after 30 years being an author I don’t do anything now, just relax and having a never ending holiday. For me that was ideal, I got the recognition I needed and liked this busy life and for more than five years now I am free to do nothing or only what I really like.
    Keep well
    Klausbernd
    The Fab Four of Cley
    πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    • I mean, I’ve published 16 books in 10 years so I’ve certainly been productive. I believe if you read my post fully, you’d see I was just saying how it’s good to balance the two. I can’t see myself ever doing nothing even in my 70’s or older. But I am glad you found a way that works for you! We all have the path we prefer.

  4. SARA THIS IS SUCH A BEAUTIFUL AND IMPORTANT POST and I’m eternally grateful to you for writing it!!!!! As someone who struggles with finding the right balance every single day, this was really insightful and so so helpful!!!! Also omg 16 books in 10 years IS SUCH A HUGE ACCOMPLISHMENT IM IN AWE???

    • Awh thank you lol I love your all caps in some parts. It made me smile. πŸ™‚ You seem like a really sweet person. I appreciate you so much. I think maybe it’s better to stay away from certain topics like busy-ness and productivity, because it can be sensitive for some people. Sometimes we’re told we’re either too busy or
      not busy enough.
      Thank you for the kind congratulations. πŸ™‚ ❀ I really appreciate your comment.
      Thank you so much. Xx

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