In his new book A Mindful Morning, author David Dillard-Wright, Ph.D., professor at the University of South Carolina, Aiden, recommends starting the day doing everything we ordinarily do at 2/3 the pace. Drive more slowly, walk more slowly and talk more slowly.
He urges us to notice our reactions to the process, too, including fears that arise from not getting things done. Do other people notice any difference? Are they reacting positively or negatively? Does this change your powers of observation? Your attitude? Your feeling of connection to others?
I remember how intense I was in my career, always pushing hard to meet deadlines (I was a journalist after all!) and feeling stressed much of the time. One time in particular, I recall rushing into my editor's office to discuss something with him. He noticed how stressed and rushed I was and quietly urged me to sit on his couch and take some deep breaths. Whew! I did so ... and we had a calm conversation about the tasks facing us. It was a reminder to me that more can be gained sometimes from simply slowing down. The work still got done, and those deep breaths and that quiet conversation calmed me down.