Slowing Down to Go Faster

I think no one would deny that we live in a fast paced world and many people would say their lives are too busy. Not only do some people work long hours and manage the demands of family, but understandably, we want to fit in time to do other things, see friends, read, listen to music, maybe study or fit in other hobbies. I feel exhausted just writing it all! The problem with busy lives is that sometime we get into a sort of autopilot and can become a bit like a hamster in a wheel, endlessly active but not really getting anywhere. Unless we take time for reflection we can end up becoming less productive and sometimes even going backwards. The following tips will show you how slowing down can actually help you speed up, not only being more productive but enjoying life more in the process.

Start right

For many people the rush to get through the day begins when they first wake up – checking emails or social media. Nothing wrong with that in itself but it can mean that the whole day is spent reacting to things. This can mean that you never actually work to your own agenda. In fact the day sort of runs you rather than the other way round. But by taking time at the beginning of the day to decide on your own priorities and make sure that your body and mind are prepared for the day, for example with a healthy breakfast and maybe a few moments to contemplate what you want to achieve, you will often find that you can not only be more productive but enjoy the day more. It means you are actively making decisions and doing things you have decided to do rather than beingpulled in a lots of different directions as you react to things.

Avoid multi-tasking

It seems one of the myths of the moment is that multi-tasking is the answer to busy lives. Now it can be useful when doing certain things BUT research has shown that it can actually make us less productive. You can read more here Put simply if there is something you want to do then it is usually done better and more quickly when we focus solely on that. Even if you are relaxing then to get the benefit make sure you do actually relax not have one eye on your work phone- or you simply won’t get the benefit.

Create Head Space

This is probably one of the most effective ways of adding a bit more order and purpose to life, yet so many people say they haven’t time. It does take time to mediate, or be mindful or even to go for a walk or take part in exercise but creating some time when you brain has space can be really important to your efficiency and calmness. Also in terms of creativity and good ideas these often happen when you have had time to slow down and give yourself a bit of head space. It’s not surprising really as our subconscious often helps us along the way but without creating that space we are not likely to hear those ‘whispers’. Have a read about how you can harness the power of your subconscious and determine to give yourself some time to tune into it.


Decide what is important to YOU

However busy we are we always find time to fit in what is important to us. The problem for many is that we haven’t made clear decisions about what our priorities are so we end up being drawn into things and finding that we haven’t then done the things we really wanted to. The fact is we know how much time we have and it is the same for each of us. There are only 24 hours in a day but each day we get the chance to choose how we spend them. It often comes down to planning and if we haven’t got a clear idea of what is important it is easy to fritter that time away on things that we would say don’t matter that much. If you feel you are short of time then take stock of the week that has just gone and look at where you spent your precious time. Were you doing the things you wanted to or did you find our self being drawn into things that aren’t that important. The good news is you can change and next week can be different.

Change your mind-set

As with lots of other areas of life the way you think about time will determine what happens. If your mind-set is that you have too much to do and you will always be busy then to put it simply you will. But if you change your mind-set and instead start to take responsibility for the choices you make then you will probably find that you can fit in more of the things that you want and that will make for a happier and more fulfilled life. In fact rather than thinking ‘I haven’t the time to do….’ whatever think‘I am choosing not to spend my time doing ….’ -it somehow can change your whole perspective and puts you in a control rather than passively accepting that you can’t do certain things.

Giving yourself time to take stock will not be a waste of time, rather it may help you be happier, more productive and make faster progress towards your goals.