Do you feel like life is a blur of deadlines and demands, many of which (if you're honest) you're struggling to meet and even when you do, you know you're not producing your best work? Frustrating isn't.
If you're like many people in the modern world you're living and working at full pace, each and every day. Zipping here, there and everywhere with a mile long To Do list trailing behind you. Not to mention running the gauntlet of managing the multitude of requests from family, friends, colleagues, bosses and others that you get each day. All that racing around is likely to leave you tired, frustrated and lacking a sense of achievement and progress. And worst of all you've noticed it's taking a toll on your health - emotionally, mentally, physically and/or spiritually.
What if slowing down helped you achieve more?
It might sound crazy, counter intuitive even. But remember the story about the tortoise and the hare. Who won the race?
What if for just one day you slowed down and...
- You filtered your mile long To Do list and identified the 3 most important tasks that you needed to focus on.
- You breathed - not the fast, shallow breathing that you're used to but slow, deep, calming breaths.
- You said 'no' to requests to take on more work or tasks, espeically those that compromised your "me time".
Imagine how it would feel to slow down
To have time. Precious time to stop, think, eat sitting down instead of on the run, to go for a walk or get to the yoga class you've been promising you'll do, or to take the afternoon nap that you so desperately want.
If you're in a mild (or extreme) state of panic at the mere thought of slowing down, then I respectfully suggest slowing down is exactly what you need to do, now.
Time to re-programme
Before implementing the 3 keys to slowing down there's something you need to do first.
You've been programmed to think more is better. In fact, in many cases, less is more and less is better.
Now what I'm about to share with you is the 'secret' to successfully implementing the 3 keys (and sadly it's often the step that's overlooked by many).
The beliefs that you have about busyness will halt you from being successful with the 3 steps.
That's a key point and one well worth repeating ...
The beliefs that you have about busyness will halt you from being successful with the 3 steps. And if you don't slow down you'll continue to feel frustrated and your health will suffer too.
Here are some beliefs about busyness which you may recognise:
- "I'm not contributing unless I'm busy"
- "If I'm not busy people will think I'm a slacker"
- "My worth is based on how busy I am"
Add your own beliefs about busyness ...
For now choose just one of your beliefs about busyness - pick the one that most strongly stands out to you. And then create a new one, one that's opposite to the belief you have now. So instead of "I'm not contributing unless I'm busy" try "I give my attention and focus to the specific tasks that matter most and will make the most difference to xyz".
You can do the same for the other beliefs you have. Work through these at a pace that suits you.
3 keys to slowing down
Key # 1 Filter your To Do list
Get clear about the 3 most important tasks you need to do today and focus on those. If you get them completed and have time you could complete something else on the list but that's not necessary and it should absolutely be considered a bonus. You know you're capable but no one can do everything, not even the smartest, strongest, savviest of super heroes can tackle mile long To Do lists in a single leap!
Key # 2 Breathe
I know you breathe all the time, in and out. But not all breathing is the quality kind. Take time right now to focus on your breath. Sit in a chair, squirm around until you feel comfortable and then take a deep, slow breath in, hold and then slowly breathe out. Repeat this 10 times. Repeat this exercise throughout the day. Notice the changes that you feel.
Key # 3 Say "no"
It's a simple word but many people struggle to use it. So often people's default response is "yes" ... yes you'll do that extra job even though you don't have time for it and it means not going home until 9pm (hours after you were due to finish work). Or yes you'll take the neighbourhood kids to the park for the 3rd day this week when actually you had promised yourself that you would go to yoga for the first time in months (despite having set a goal to go once a week!). Today practice saying "no".
Ready to slow down, achieve more (and feel more relaxed!)
You have the power to slow the pace of your life down. To achieve more. And to feel more relaxed.
You're a human being not a machine so relentlessly pushing yourself day-in day-out is a recipe for disaster in terms of your health. Then what will you do?
Take action now to slow down to achieve more (and feel more relaxed!).
Tracey Hancock, creator of the High Quality Health Method - a methodology designed to help you develop and implement a plan designed specifically for you to achieve the level of health you desire for life.