Six steps to slow living while staying productive

Jul 12, 2017Fashion, Life, Style, Wellness18 comments

Slow life isn’t just a trend, it’s a necessary way of life in an era where stress and over-productivity are negatively affecting our daily lives and our health.

However, life is a balancing act and achieving this balance is the key to happiness and success. Adopting a slow life philosophy shouldn’t be an excuse to become lethargic. In order to design your dream life you need to be healthy and focused. Here are the things to balance out for a slow life without compromising on productivity.

Outfit details, book recommendations and personal update at the bottom of the page.

Be present and mindful, but stay organised

Let go of the past and stop being anxious about the future! Live in the now, start by reading the famous “Power of the now”. When doing a tedious task like cutting vegetables or driving in traffic don’t rush into the finish line, pause and be aware of each of your movements and all what’s happening. Learn to be patient and give time to each and every daily task. Eat mindfully, try to taste your food fully and focus on your meal, don’t look at your phone or turn on TV, just be in this moment. But in order to take this time you need to be organised, you can’t be patient in traffic when you always run to your meetings 15 min late or don’t wake up early enough to enjoy a proper breakfast. Always prioritise, organise and set routines.

Meditate and disconnect, but nurture your relationships

Meditation is the miracle recipe of a slow stress-free life. You don’t need a Urban Outfitters cushion and a dozen of scented candles and incense to meditate, it’s really just taking few minutes to free your mind and think about nothing. Whether you are commuting, staring at a wall, knitting or peeling potatoes. A tech detox is also necessary for a clear mind, at least once a week. Turn off your phone and computer from time to time. Once or twice a week, don’t turn on the TV/Netflix when you come home. To pass the time, read, do some yoga or Mandala colouring, anything non-tech that can ease your mind. It’s not easy, but very beneficial and like all the things that are good for you, the more you practice, the easier it becomes. On the other hand, disconnecting and meditation should not transform you into a hermit. You also need to make time for the people you love and socialise.

Express gratitude, but be ambitious

Count your blessings, there are always reasons to be grateful. Focus on them, daily! Literally express gratitude: say it out loud to yourself or to the people you are grateful having in your life. Write it down and be aware of all the positive around you. Adding to that, I do believe that gratitude attracts more abundance and joy (read about the law of attraction). That said, keep track of your hopes and dreams and stay motivated. Being grateful and content in your present life doesn’t prevent you from wanting to improve and always trying to be the best version of yourself. Have a vision board of your dream life, visualise it and work for it.

Don’t multitask, but have a task list

Take on one thing at a time. When you feel the urge to switch to other tasks, pause, breathe, and pull yourself back. Multitasking gives you the illusion of being productive, but it often leads to incomplete work, anxiety and lack of focus. Instead, it’s more efficient to take a few minutes and write down a task list. Most importantly, rank the tasks from the most important and urgent to the way down. You will magically realise that you are not that busy.

Do not compare, but be inspired

First of all, things are not always what they seem. And second of all, every journey is unique and everyone has its own rhythm and opportunities in life. There is nothing worse than obsessing over what others have in their life that you don’t. It only leads to envy and hate that will consume your energy. You can use this same energy to be inspired by those people. Instead of taking notes of what they have, you can ask yourself or ask them HOW they had them. If it’s something you really want, analyse in a positive way how this person achieved it and work for it. Successes are often the fruit of hard work. No! People don’t just meet their soulmates around the corner, or just have the right network or use the family money (even the Kardashians work hard). Use these people as a fuel to motivate you, to visualise and reach your goals.

Trust the universe, but have a backup plan

You don’t have to believe in a higher power for this one. You just have to believe that things happen for a reason and not try to control everything. Learn to let and leave things to faith sometimes. This is so relieving! But even universe needs an extra push, don’t lay back and wait for it to do its magic. Take actions and be aware of what happens around you to read the signs. About letting go, I really recommend the book “The surrender experiment”, it’s one of the stories that deeply changed my perspective about life.

The personal note

Actually, what inspired me to write this article is all of you guys. Since I posted about leaving my corporate life behind to travel, I constantly get questions from you or from my friends and family: When are you guys going to travel? Don’t you have a date? What are your plans? I am beyond grateful that you are showing interest and excitement towards our adventure. But, if it was few years ago those questions would freak me out real bad!

I have always been a person who wants to be one step ahead. I was so self-conscious about time passing by, and haunted by the idea of not having enough time to do the things I wanted to do in one lifetime. In my studiesI was a year ahead, I started work early (and retired early I guess!), I was constantly looking for new things to try (but this is cool, right?).

To answer the question above, we still don’t have a date and that’s okey. High season is not the best to start a long travel and most importantly, we didn’t quit to take a break or a vacation, we did it to try a new way of life. As I explained the article here, we want to live a nomadic life and exploring new ways to make money. We also need a part of our travel to be sponsored and these things take time. So rest assured you will be the first to know, and for my part I learnt to trust the universe, to be patient while working hard on my dreams. Things happen when they are supposed to happen…

Slow living book selection

Chasing slow: Courage to Journey Off the Beaten Path by Erin Loechner

Destination simple:  Everyday Rituals for a Slower Life by Brooke McAlary

The power of the now by Erkhart Tolle

Simple matters: Living with Less and Ending Up with More by Erin Boyle

Let my people go surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman by Yvon Chouinard

The surrender experiment by Michael A. Singer

A Simplified Life: Tactical Tools for Intentional Living by Emily Ley

The law of attraction by Michael J. Losier

xo xo Dalal



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  1. sahar

    So inspiring, i do love the last quote “Be Patient While working hard on your dreams” and i will definitly ADOPT IT, I keep dreaming the whole day long

    Keep on posting XOXO

    • justdalal

      Thank you dear <3 Your support means a lot.

    • justdalal

      Glad you liked it <3

  2. Marleen Zoë

    I love your photographs! Nice blog 🙂

    • justdalal

      Thank you Marleen ❤️

  3. Whitney

    Great post! I think a tech detox can really bring a sense of calm automatically. Great tips!

    • justdalal

      Thank you Withney, summer is definitely the best time for this ☺️

  4. Rosanna

    Absolutely love this post! It expresses exactly what I feel. People always ask me how I live in London and have a challenging career but still try to ‘live slow’ – this is how! For a while I thought it might be a bit of a paradox and maybe I was kidding myself that I was ‘living slow’ but for me, it’s about pairing back daily processes and taking little moments to reflect and unwind. Rx

    • justdalal

      Love is a balancing act after all. We unfortunately have to compose with real life requirements. I am also tired of people being lazy or always late and using slow life as an excuse ?

  5. Britt+Whit

    love these tips! so important and love the floral romper!



    • justdalal

      Thank you so much

  6. Greg Radcliffe

    Yes, it’s all about focusing on the stuff that REALLY MATTERS! 🙂

    • justdalal

      And the people that really matter ☺️

  7. Melissa

    Thank you so mich for sharing this. I love this post.

    • justdalal

      Thanks for stopping by Melissa <3

  8. mytraveltricks

    Wauw your website looks amazing! Love this post, very interesting! Oh and, amazing pictures! Very inspiring!

    • justdalal

      My husband takes my pictures he will be so happy with your comment ☺️

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