Business runs at a fast pace. You need to consider ways in which you can comfortably slow down. Because slowing down is good for you and ultimately your business performance too. . .
You work better when your pace is slower. It gives you the time to invest in others; in yourself. And it doesn't mean you are underperforming - on the contrary, there are many ways you will be better at what you do.
After all what are deadlines really? How many things in life can survive if you leave them till the next day. The answer, of course, is most of them. And some will be even better if you do!
Here are ten great ideas to help you get back the space you crave for and will definitely benefit from. . .
- Meet Others Fully
If you are having a one-to-one meeting with someone, take the time out to spend the time with them - fully. It will give you an opportunity to relax and get more from the interaction. Building the relationship to both your benefits.
- Focus on One Thing
When you are on the phone, be on the phone. Doing more than one thing makes both be done badly. So checking e-mails at the same time is not a good thing - and often, the person on the other end can tell as well when you are distracted by something else.
- Take Time to Eat
Two things here. Take a proper break when you can eat in peace, sitting down. And when you are eating take the time to chew slowly, aiming for 20 times per mouthful. It helps you relax and helps digestion (not to mention reducing the likelihood of overeating).
- Appreciate Slack
By celebrating at having ‘nothing to do’ for an hour, you will truly shift your mindset. In fact it is likely if you dump a few ‘shoulds’ you will enable your brain to become highly creative. With some of this time you could take the time to read 'Slack' by Tom DeMarco.
- Prioritise Well
As yourself this, ‘If I only had half the time today, what would be the most useful to do. You can certainly dump the rest. There are definitely things that all of us do that are quite valueless. It's OK to accept that, but recognise them for what they are
- Take a Break
Remembering to take your vacations; to attend your child's school play; surprising your partner by getting home early. all these will make a big difference, not just to others, but leave you refreshed and balanced. And balance ensures you can do a great job when you need to.
By looking at the time you take to do things and becoming more than realistic, you will set more do-able expectations. ‘More than realistic’ is about achieving a small number of things and then stopping, within any timescale you set yourself. That time is then yours, a gift to yourself.
- Have a Cut-off
Many people try to cram so much in it makes them late which adds to their frustration and personal pressure. So have a cut off point where you will do no more - no last minute ‘I can just fit that in’ sessions.
This will enable you not only to get where you should be when you should be, but, hey presto, you can appreciate the journey too. For a more thorough application of this principle, check-out Mark Forster's excellent book, 'Get Everything Done and Still Have Time to Play'.
- Be a Model
Showing others how to get a life can be profound for them. Your people follow your behaviours, so by showing them you don't need to be in the fast lane all the time, that slowing down is not just OK, but a ‘good thing', will do them a favour, as well as you.
- Realise your Dreams
You have but one life and it passes so quickly. Make the time to access those dreams you wish you had achieved years ago. Walk on cool grass with no shoes on, like Richard Gere did in 'Pretty Woman'. Take that trip to Australia that you've always wanted - even a few personal days of ‘me time’. Who knows when the time will be right if you don't do it now?
Slowing down is the new 'strong', rather that the ill-defined weakness corporate life has determined for us.
Often the pace set for us is the choice of others - it's time to get real and slow down.
© 2005-6 Martin Haworth is a Business and Management Coach. He works worldwide, mainly by phone, with small business owners, managers and corporate leaders. He has hundreds of hints, tips and ideas at his website, http://www.coaching-businesses-to-success.com .
. . . helping you, to help your people, to help your business grow. . .