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One step, one punch, one round at a time

In February 2022, exhausted with adulting and everything that comes with it — paying rent, ordering groceries, calling the plumber and whatnot — I found myself on a flight back home. I needed a break and I needed to do less.

On the flight, I was watching Creed and Rocky Balboa’s advice to Adonis Creed, “One step, one punch, one round at a time” is exactly what I needed to hear at the time. Underneath my mask, I sobbed as silently as I could. 

At home in Delhi, I slept well and I ate well. I spent a lot of time with people who had empathy and the right advice for me. By simply doing less for eight weeks, I felt like I could do the whole adulting thing again. So once again, I was back at the airport, with a 25kg suitcase with my entire world in it and on a flight back to Bangalore. 

I didn’t get Rocky Balboa’s words tattooed, though I might as well have because subconsciously it became my modus operandi. I stopped trying to do too much in the same day and at the same time.

I set up my new apartment in my own time. I needed a mattress, a table and wifi to move in. The fridge and microwave came a day after I moved in. I lived without a sofa for nearly three weeks, because I knew I didn’t need it for my apartment to feel like a home.

I realized multitasking is not for me. If I’m at work, I need to be at work — I can’t coordinate the plumber’s arrival from the office. If some friends have come over for dinner and drinks, I don’t want to open slack to see if someone has messaged.


One step at a time.

I’m consciously managing my energy by asking myself if doing something would give me energy or drain my energy. I know sleeping in on a Sunday and spending the whole day in my pajamas gives me energy for the whole week. It allows me to catch up with my chores and my thoughts and just do nothing for a couple of hours.

Doing one thing at a time has meant learning to say no to the people in my life. Some get it, some don’t. But I keep reminding myself and them that it is less about how much time I spend with someone, and more about the quality of time I spend with them.

A few months ago, I wrote about slowing down and not understanding it completely. I’d like to believe that I do now.


Slowing down is simply taking one step, one punch, one round at a time.

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