Modern life encourages us to move faster, act quicker and do more. We all have too much to do and too little time. Tasks, responsibilities, duties and goals need to be achieved daily. We are bombarded with information how to get things done and told we need to achieve so much in our lives. If we don’t jump on-board the express train we will definitely lose out. It has become so extreme that we feel pressurized into scheduling time to relax and time to have fun.
The solution to this race to the top is to Slow Down, it may sound counter-intuitive but as my mother used to say “More speed Less Haste” moving faster does not equate to getting more done. When we move too fast we tend to make more mistakes, mistakes which may cost us more time and effort than originally required. So it may be time to:
Take a step back and reassess
I’m sure you already know that goal setting is important, that having your priorities and motivations clear will help you to achieve more in life. If you have your goals well-defined it will be easier to know if the work you are busy with daily is the right work. But how many of you stop regularly to reassess? Are your goals still as important to you as they were at the beginning of the year? Are you still heading in the right direction or should you readjust? Take a step back and see if you need to make any changes.
Constant connectivity has become the new status quo. If you don’t respond to your email or text messages immediately people wonder what’s up. Information Overload becomes the norm and calm control an ambitious aspiration. We need to disconnect, to take back the control. Switch off all notifications of emails, posts and tweets. Go to these programs when you decide to go there, not when a bell lures you there. Switch off your phone when you need to focus, the world won’t suffer from your temporary absence.
Question the Process
If you move at high speed you won’t get the opportunity to question your processes or tactics. Are you doing things in the best way or are you continuing to do things the way you have always done them. Do you ever stop to think? Are you going to be working at your best if you don’t have time to think? Friday meetings take up two hours each Friday do we rush to get there like we do every Friday or do we question the validity of the meeting? If you keep doing what you have always done you will keep getting what you have always got. As Einstein put it; “The definition of insanity is doing the same things and expecting different results” Maybe it is time to do things differently.
Slowing down means becoming more flexible. If you work for yourself, you don’t have to work the traditional work week to classify yourself as part of the working community. Work on your terms, do your shopping at midnight, go to the gym mid-morning. Create your own schedule and work to your own personal energy.
It’s written above my desk – Breathe! I need to remind myself regularly to take a breath to energize and oxygenate my body. When we get engrossed in our work we tend to begin to slouch reducing the area in the lungs to breathe into. If you stop and correct your posture regularly, taking a few deep breathes you will reduce the stress and tension in your body, feed your brain with oxygen and ultimately create a better environment for high performance and achievement.
So maybe it’s time to slow down and re-evaluate things, you may actually get more done.