There is a paradox to productivity in that slowing down helps us to speed up. Do you find yourself constantly playing "catch up" or trying to stay on top of a constant swirl of activity? Are you so busy working on the day-to-day that you don't stop to look at the bigger picture?
If you answered yes to either of the above, you are not alone. Most of us don't take time to slow down to celebrate our accomplishments, evaluate the past and plan for the future. Consequently, we cheat ourselves out of our best work.
Picture yourself as a sprinter. Sprinters run full speed ahead - arms pumping, feet pounding, lungs gasping - with no thought of anything but making it to the finish line. Sprinters run on the verge of being out of control. They can't run that way forever.
Neither. Can. We.
When we sprint through life, we cheat ourselves of our best because we focus so much on the "race" that we miss opportunities, stifle creativity, and eventually crash and burn. We need to regularly get off the track to get back on track.
Here's how you can step off the track and get back to your best:
1) Stop. Stop doing and schedule an hour each week to reflect, review and refocus your priorities.
2) Look. List the things you've learned in the past week and reflect on them. Take one action step or make one change based on what you've learned.
3) Listen. Look at your life from a 30,000 foot view. In this quiet place above the clutter of life, consider steps #1 and #2, all of your "to do's" and "want to's", and ask yourself "What will I do with what I know?" Listen to your heart and your intuition for the answer.
Slowing down helps us chart a proper course so we can run in the right direction. Knowing where to run eliminates the confusion that slows us down. Stop, look, and listen today. Then, hang on for the ride!
How do you slow down? Share your thoughts, tips and tricks in a comment below!