Let’s face it, life is busy year-round. But when summertime arrives, it seems that things often pick up speed and become even busier. With so much to do in so little time, before we know it we find ourselves booked to the max and running ragged trying to fit so much in. As a result, we end up allowing our schedules to dictate our moves and plans, instead of the other way around.

If your schedule’s filling up fast—stop! Hold on a minute! Put that pencil down! Before you add yet one more thing to your growing to-do list, you may want to take some time to step back and evaluate your plans from a slightly different perspective. That is, a slower one.

There’s real value in slowing down and living life at a more reasonable pace. Slowing our hectic lives down, every so often, is tremendously beneficial for your mindset, emotional well-being, and relationships. By turning the dial down on our often-frantic lives, we’re able to soak up more and feel far more present and in the moment. Other benefits include reduced stress, better focus, and the ability to bring intention to every aspect of our lives.

Slow living, according to its proponents, is also about living your values and being intentional about giving out your time and attention.

If slowing down the pace a bit and living a more intentional life sounds good to you, read on! Here are a few ways that you can adjust your schedule, relax, and enjoy life at a reasonable pace—year round!

Be Mindful

If you’d like to slow down your pace, it is important to be mindful of your decision. Keeping your big picture goals will help you to keep sight of what’s important, and stay on-task when it comes to prioritizing your goals. For instance, if you find that your schedule doesn’t allow room for something; avoid squeezing it in to make it happen. Instead, remember, if your goal is less stress and more time for those little things, then it’s important to leave some breathing room in your schedule.

Say No, Guilt-Free

Learning to say no is something that we all need to be able to do and is an essential part of having a happy and productive life. Don’t feel that you must agree to something because you feel that others think that you should do it. If you want to say yes, then say yes. If you want to say no, then say no. No stress, no guilt. Keep it simple, the way it should be.

Schedule Downtime

While there isn’t anything wrong with having a lot of things planned out for your summer, or any season for that matter, it’s always important to schedule some downtime as well; some uninterrupted time that doesn’t get bumped or jostled in favor of cramming more in. Having downtime is essential for everyone, no matter what age we are, and is vital for recharging our batteries, and returning to the hustle and bustle ready to face it all again.

Strike a Balance

Even in the middle of your busy schedule, it’s important to strike a balance. Creating a well-balanced schedule is essential for living at a much more reasonable pace. A good rule of thumb is to schedule a calm day for every busy day that you have. So if you have two busy days, try to pencil in two quieter days to help you recover and recuperate without all the unneeded stress and chaos.

Clear Your Schedule

Finally, it’s important to give your schedule a good deep clean. Get rid of things that aren’t going to make you productive or will just bog you down. Put things on hold that are time suckers and cancel those unnecessary things that you simply do not enjoy. Give your schedule a makeover, an overhaul, or simple adjustment to ensure that it is summer-ready. Then get to work adding things back into it that, just ensure they are things you want to do, and not simply things you have been pressured into doing. Remember, your time is valuable!

At the end of the day, getting the most out of your time isn’t about forcing yourself to operate at a painfully fast or slow pace. Instead, it’s all about finding a balance that works for you. Once you’ve found a rhythm, you’ll be able to operate at a pace that’s far more relaxing and find more enjoyment in the simple things.

If you’d like to live life more intentionally, be sure to check out Day Designer—the planner that will help you to find balance and achieve your goals—all while keeping the big picture in mind. Choose from Day Designer’s flagship collection to find a planner that will work perfectly for you.