Category Archives: Time

Finding more time is about learning to say no, embracing the Joy of Missing Out and disconnecting to reconnect. Set up tech boundaries, get more sleep and unlock time and energy you didn’t know you were missing.

Disconnect to reconnect

Aaron Burden

Technology is an inevitable part of even the slowest of modern lives. This podcast, news sites, social media, blogs, forums, videos… even if you’re being intentional it can (and will) be overwhelming at times.

This week Ben and I talk about what we stand to gain by disconnecting regularly and why it’s so important to reconnect with what matters, without the distracting blare of notifications and devices vying for our attention.

In SLOW I write:

Modern connection technology has delivered us a paradox. We have more connection and less humanity. We’re hyper-engaged and increasingly isolated. We have more information and less critical thought. We see more tragedy and have less empathy. We enjoy more privilege but are less satisfied. We are sensitive to personal offence and desensitised to the suffering of others.

The connected world offers us so much – so much to learn, to see, to share, to do. But hyperconnection brings with it a steep downside.

Slow living provides an opportunity to step back, pay attention and question the ways we use technology, to recalibrate our relationship with the constantly switched-on, logged-in world. It offers us an opportunity to disconnect, in order to reconnect.

The biggest question is how?

Firstly, it’s important to keep in mind what we stand to gain by having more in-person connection:

  • more time – connection technology steals minutes and hours a day, and we barely notice
  • more humanity – screens can create a sense of distance between us and others, and the internet can harden us
  • more action – when we waste time procrasti-scrolling we not only lose those minutes but we also lose the opportunity to do something with those minutes. Just because we’re doing something doesn’t mean we’re being productive
  • more peace and quiet – the stimulus and noise is incessant when we’re connected constantly
  • more ability to think and reflect – when we let the noise abate and learn to sit in the silence we give ourselves the ability to think more deeply, and it’s in these moments that some of our best ideas come forward

And then it’s a matter of establishing some boundaries and sticking to them, knowing what’s at stake if we don’t.

Some of the simple boundaries we have in our home include:

  • screen-free bedrooms
  • no screens at the table
  • pockets of screen-free time every day (the first and last hours of the day, for example)
  • we try to find places where there is no wifi and revel in the peace it brings

It’s an evolving set of boundaries that continue to expand as we find the joy in disconnection, and if ever I find myself slipping back in to those old patterns of overconsumption or hyperconnection all I have to do is look up and see what I stand to gain by switching off.

How do you manage connection technology in your home? What boundaries or rules work for you? And what do you find challenging? Let us know in the comments or over on Facebook.

Enjoy!

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Head over to iTunes to subscribe to the show and play the episode.

Or you can listen to the show directly, simply by hitting the Play button above. Enjoy!

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Things to Check Out After Today’s Episode:

Keep Listening:

Support the Show:

You may have heard that we recently hit 2.9 million (!!) downloads of The Slow Home Podcast! Not only does that fact blow my mind, it’s also thanks to your lovely self and the community of people who listen to the show every week, send in your questions and offer your feedback. I’m so grateful you’re here and part of this, and for anyone who has supported the show in any way over the past year – thank you so much.

If you do love the show and would like to show your support by becoming a patron, head over here to make a small monthly donation (as little as $1 a month) and know that any amount makes a huge difference to us being able to cover costs. You’ll also be able to join our monthly live video calls where we answer questions and give a behind the scenes look at life.

Most importantly, thanks for being here!

JOMO – The Joy of Missing Out

JOMO - The Joy of Missing Out - Episode 180 of The Slow Home Podcast

Most of us have heard of (and experienced) FOMO at some point. FOMO is the Fear of Missing Out and it strikes at the heart of modern life. We do things, attend things or buy things in order to avoid it, but there will always be things we miss out on, so why do we struggle with it so much?

A couple of weeks ago a friend of ours (Mr Andy McLean – friend of the show – you may know him from such episodes as Episode 124 of The Slow Home Podcast) sent us a photo of the above Leunig poem. It’s about as relevant to us as anything possibly could be, so Ben and I thought this would be a great topic to chat about on today’s poggie.

JOMO is the Joy of Missing Out and the antidote to FOMO. It’s the utter delight that is saying no and doing less and choosing to not compete in the Busy Olympics. JOMO is a breath of fresh air when it feels like we’re choking on the idea that in order to be successful we need to be constantly in motion, striving and chasing the life that will make others envious.

JOMO comes from a place of abundance (everything, right now, is enough) while FOMO comes from a place of scarcity (I’m scared that this will never be enough) and I think there is a very real and deep life lesson hidden in these dorky acronyms.

Ben and I talk through the difference between fear and joy in today’s episode as well as the many ways we can apply it in life. JOMO doesn’t only apply to the highlights we see of other people’s days, as they appear on Instagram or Facebook. JOMO can also apply to our stuff, busy-ness, excess, social media, comparisons, keeping up with the Joneses… In all of those areas of life we can joyfully choose to see that we have enough, after which saying no becomes a relief.

We also like to end most of these episodes with a thought or an action, and this week we encourage you to embrace the idea of JOMO. Rather than worry about what you don’t have or what you’re missing out on by saying no, dive head-first into it!

Enjoy!

——

Head over to iTunes to subscribe to the show and play the episode.

Or you can listen to the show directly, simply by hitting the Play button above. Enjoy!

——

Things to Check Out After Today’s Episode:

Keep Listening:

Support the Show:

You may have heard that we recently hit 2.7 million (!!) downloads of The Slow Home Podcast! Not only does that fact blow my mind, it’s also thanks to your lovely self and the community of people who listen to the show every week, send in your questions and offer your feedback. I’m so grateful you’re here and part of this, and for anyone who has supported the show in any way over the past year – thank you so much.

If you do love the show and would like to show your support by becoming a patron, head over here to make a small monthly donation (as little as $1 a month) and know that any amount makes a huge difference to us being able to cover costs.

Most importantly, thanks for being here!

 

The Slow WIP (aka a Work In Progress podcast)

The Slow WIP - Episode 153 of The Slow Home Podcast

When is a hostful not actually a hostful? When it’s a WIP! (Otherwise known as a Work In Progress). 

A few weeks ago I wrote a post over on The Art of Simple, outlining mine and Ben’s weekly WIP. I was a little worried that it would be boring, but it turns out this is an idea that resonated with lots of readers so I thought it would be a good opportunity for Ben and I to look at another really practical thing we’ve implemented over the past year and a half of self-employment. Essentially it allows us to work together, be productive and actually like each other at the end of (almost) every day. 

We look at the structure of our WIP, why they work and how we use them to give shape and direction to the rest of our week, as well as how we each manage when unexpected things pop up.

Interestingly, this also leads us in to a wider conversation around the issue of living a less-than-slow life right now, and how we find balance between building a business and maintaining a certain level of slow-ness in our home home and family life. It’s not an easy one to strike and there are a few times in today’s poggie where I admit to the toll it takes when advocating for slow while not being able to live it. But on the flipside, I also talk about how I’ve turned that from a guilt-ridden experience to one of learning and gaining a deeper understanding of what the mindset of slow living looks like – even when it’s not slow-paced. 

Ben and I also talk about some of the changes we’re in the midst of making in our work and how we think it’s going to impact the podcast and the ways in which we can help you live a slower, simpler life yourself. 

There’s plenty of honesty in this poggie, that’s for sure! 

Today’s sponsor is Pocketbook – the personal finance app that takes the complexity out of budgeting and tracking your money. To download the free Pocketbook app and take control of your finances today, head to getpocketbook.com/slowhome and get all the details. 

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Head over to iTunes to subscribe to the show and play the episode.


Or you can listen to the show directly, simply by hitting the Play button above. Enjoy!

——

Things to Check Out After Today’s Episode:

Keep Listening:

Slow Home: Cleaning Rhythms

Slow Home: Cleaning Rhythms - Episode 148 of The Slow Home Podcast

In the final of our cleaning related episodes (I know many of you have found these really helpful, which is awesome, but I’m not going to lie – I’m looking forward to not thinking quite so much about cleaning again as of next week!) Ben and I look at our rhythms. Specifically the rhythms we’ve developed at home that allow us to stay on top of the home maintenance and ensure things never get overwhelming.

It might seem like over-engineering, but I’ve been using a version of this rhythm for years now, and while it’s changed as circumstances have shifted and the kids have gotten older, it’s served me incredibly well and it means we can minimise:

  • the amount of time we spend thinking about cleaning
  • the overwhelm that strikes when there’s a build-up of jobs that haven’t been done frequently enough. (A bathroom left for a month takes much longer to clean than a bathroom that’s cleaned once a week, for example)
  • the stress and willpower factors involved in cleaning – I don’t need to think too much about housework at all, but simply go through the rhythm that’s in place
  • the chance of things ever getting truly out of hand which in turn means cleaning takes less time, less energy, less product, less of everything.

In order to work out our rhythm, I simply wrote down all the weekly housework tasks and split them up over the days of the week that make sense for us. For you it might be a matter of doing all the housework on a Saturday morning or a Thursday afternoon because your schedule doesn’t allow for it to be split over days. Whatever works is the order of the day here!

And, despite the fact that I feel like this is very dull, I’ve been assured that this stuff is interesting to some of you, so I’ve written a simplified version of our rhythm below, to give you an indication of how this actually looks in practice:

Monday

  • Clean kitchen (15 min) – tiles, bench tops, microwave, cupboard doors, fridge door, stove top
  • Wipe bathroom vanities with towel and change towels (2 min)

Tuesday

  • Change bed sheets as needed
  • Wash linen
  • Laundry

Wednesday

  • Clean glass (10 min) – shower screens, back doors, mirrors
  • Admin/bills

Thursday

  • Clean toilets
  • Dusting

Friday

  • Clean bathrooms
  • Vacuum
  • Mopping as needed

(Almost) Daily Tasks

  • Wipe kitchen benctops
  • Wipe bathroom vanity
  • Sweep
  • Laundry

Less Frequent

  • Oven
  • Fridge
  • Pantry

This week’s action is simple: write a list of all the home maintenance tasks you need to do each week(ish) and then spilt them up in a way that works for you. Delegate and schedule as needed, then stick to the plan for a week and see if it reduces stress/mess/cleaning time. And let me know how you go with it – I’d love to hear!

Enjoy!

——

Head over to iTunes to subscribe to the show and play the episode.


Or you can listen to the show directly, simply by hitting the Play button above. Enjoy!

——

Things to Check Out After Today’s Episode:

Keep Listening:

Support the Show:

You may have heard that we recently hit 1.9 million downloads of The Slow Home Podcast! Not only does that fact blow my mind, it’s also thanks to your lovely self and the community of people who listen to the show every week, send in your questions and offer your feedback. I’m so grateful you’re here and part of this, and for anyone who has supported the show in any way over the past year – thank you so much.

If you do love the show and would like to show your support by becoming a patron, head over here to make a small monthly donation (as little as $1 a month) and know that any amount makes a huge difference to us being able to cover costs.

Most importantly, thanks for being here!

 

Rituals: Unplugging

Rituals: Unplugging - Episode 134 of The Slow Home Podcast

Last year an Australian study found that we spend more than 46 hours per week on a screen, and just 6 hours with family and friends over the same period. Another study revealed that Brits will spend over 3 years of their adult lives updating social media – only marginally less than the three years, two months they spend on holidays. Americans, meanwhile, spend more than 10 hours a day attached to a screen of some description – a full one hour more every day than was revealed in a similar study a year earlier.

All this to say – we spend a lot of time attached to a device of connection. Smartphones, tablets, laptops, desktops, video games… we’re constantly being beeped at, notified of or vibrated at and it’s taking its toll.

While much of our online life is necessary and part of the modern workplace, we also allow it to impose on our downtime, with many hours spent watching TV, scrolling social media and falling down endless internet rabbitholes. Not only does it stop us from doing other things with our time, but the blue light of smartphones and tablets also impacts our ability to go to sleep – and stay asleep – meaning we’re more tired and more wired than ever.

In today’s episode Ben and I look at a very simple daily ritual that can help you break the habit of constant connection. Learning to unplug regularly not only breaks the social media/procrastination loop, but it also turns our attention elsewhere – to the people nearby, the conversations, the trees, the light, the breeze, the feelings, the sensations. It can also help us sleep more soundly, wake up more refreshed and minimise the lost moments in the morning where we accidentally check every news website and email account before jumping in the shower.

We talk about the benefits of having a screen-free bedroom, as well as how you can actually harness technology to help you become more mindful and to schedule in pockets of disconnection throughout the day.

This week’s action is to set an alarm each evening for 30 minutes before bed time, and use it as a reminder to disconnect from the phone, the computer, the TV. Try to use this time to unwind from the day and prepare yourself for a good night’s rest, and simply see if it has an impact on your sleep after doing it for a week. It’s simple, I promise!

Hit me up on Instagram or Facebook and let us know how you go after a week of ritual unplugging. In the meantime, enjoy your week!

——

Head over to iTunes to subscribe to the show and play the episode.


Or you can listen to the show directly, simply by hitting the Play button above. Enjoy!

——

Things to Check Out After Today’s Episode:

Keep Listening:

Support the Show:

You may have heard that we recently hit 1.7 million downloads of The Slow Home Podcast! Not only does that fact blow my mind, it’s also thanks to your lovely self and the community of people who listen to the show every week, send in your questions and offer your feedback. I’m so grateful you’re here and part of this, and for anyone who has supported the show in any way over the past year – thank you so much.

If you do love the show and would like to show your support by becoming a patron, head over here to make a small monthly donation (as little as $1 a month) and know that any amount makes a huge difference to us being able to cover costs.

Most importantly, thanks for being here!