Slowing Down to Move Faster
June 18, 2014
I’ve been thinking a lot about priorities lately. Having recently taken a 3-day marketing/grow-your-business seminar, I imagined all my peers from the seminar (a room full of type A, entrepreneurial powerhouses) dashing about to get their promised things-to-do done in the first 30 days.
I too wrote a list, a very short list of what I hoped to accomplish in the 30 days that followed the seminar. But after 3-12 hour days including the seminar and An Evening with the Artist that I scheduled on the heals of the seminar, once I got back to my office, all I could do was feel pressure. Without going into detail, suffice it to say that running 3 ‘small’ businesses, it’s easy to feel pressure: pressure that I’m not getting enough done, pressure that I could to ‘better’ at each of them, pressure that I haven’t set my goals ‘high’ enough. The underlying feeling was ‘I have to do MORE’. So, it may come as a surprise to you that I figured out how I could do ‘more’ and do it ‘better’. Wait for it… I commit to doing LESS. Think about it. The way I can do more is by doing less.
Let me explain. Have you ever been tired before you even start a day? Have you ever found it hard to concentrate? Have you ever ended a day 7 hours later than you’d hoped still feeling like you didn’t put a dent in what you wanted to accomplish? Have you ever looked at your output for a day and thought the quality of the work you did was not your ‘best’? I can answer YES to each of these questions and I can tell you that if that’s not an indicator of burn-out, I am right on the cusp. You want to hear to GOOD news? I have a choice. We all have choices. Everyday. As a matter of fact, everything we do and how we do it has a number of choices embedded within it. I am luckier than most. I can choose when I go to bed, when I wake up, whether I make time for a walk, what I eat, who I hang out with, etc. I can even choose how much I want to work.
The slippery slope appears when we think that more is better… and that’s not always the case. Those of us who think we can do it all sometimes try, only to find out that what we’ve really done is to decrease effectiveness. The more we try to cram in to an hour, a day, a week, a month, a year, a lifetime, the more the quality of our life diminishes.
I’m still pondering what that means. I’m starting with self-care as my priority. I’m doing things that I believe will improve my focus and effectiveness. I’m committed to doing the things I do to the best of my ability. And I promise to take more time to savor the life I’m living.