Slow Down and Get More Done
The image I chose for this article inspired me. It’s called “Woman sitting on a suitcase waiting for the sunset.” When was the last time you sat down and waited for a sunset?
This is the second in my series of articles about counterintuitive concepts. Intuition is important in life. It guides us toward good choices. Counterintuition can be an even better teacher. It’s time to mix them up a bit, and when you do, you’ll surprise yourself by finding new ways to make smart choices.
These four counterintuitive concepts have worked for me and for entrepreneurs in both their business and personal lives.
Slow Down and Save Time!
Our society is constructed by the way we relate to one another and communicate who we are and what we want. To communicate effectively in any medium, we need to be present.
To be present, to be in the moment, to express ourselves clearly—and to receive others with the same clarity—requires single-minded focus. If you do not acknowledge the importance of relationships in your life, and honour them with the attention they deserve, you may be sacrificing deep connections in favour of busyness.
When you slow down and focus on one thing at a time, people will relate to you better and you will actually save time. Multitasking inevitably leads to something not being done right, and that means you’ll have to do it again.
Being present in an interaction with someone else, with your mind focused on the task, will facilitate clear communication and closer human dynamics. Try it. Try it with your children, your intimate partner, your business associate. Slow down, speak simply with clear intent, and listen to the response.
You’ll be surprised at the results, at how much time you save, and the ease with which your relationship unfolds. Slowing down is the best way to get more done!
Says Maria Teresa, “Long before I realized that slowing down was the best way to accomplish things, I noticed that when I was rushed, I would freak out the people around me. I had to repeat things because my requests weren’t clear.”
Martha, owner of a wedding planning business, said, “I’ve learned that when you give instructions more slowly and look the person in the eye, they get the message more clearly, the first time.
“It sounds funny to say that my job as a wedding planner is highly stressful. There are times when you have to do four things at once, and there’s a tendency to give orders all at the same time. That didn’t work for me.
“When I slow down, people perceive that everything is under control, and they pay attention. That creates a working atmosphere more conducive to celebrating a couple’s big day.”
Save Your Life and Your Relationships by Learning to Say NO
Honour who you are and surrender to the reality that life is never done. Choose your priorities.
Become good at saying NO! We all know when we’ve reached that point where taking on one more thing means throwing our life out of balance.
Resist spending time with friends when you aren’t able to be present in the interaction. Wouldn’t you rather spend quality time with a friend, less often, when you can be fully present? Isn’t that better than saying yes to too many people and ending up with poor communication and diluted connections?
Says Katie, “I used to be always late, always rushed, and everybody was unhappy with me. I thought that if I didn’t say yes to everyone and everything, I was being rude. Then I learned that when I said yes just to be polite, even though I had too much on my plate, I was perceived as distant.”
“The biggest step to becoming a functioning adult was learning to say no,” Katie continued. “Strangely enough, no one was offended. My relationships with friends and at work solidified in unexpected ways.”
Easy Does it!
Sole focus allows us to communicate effectively.
The only way to have sole focus is to do one thing at a time.
To do one thing at a time, we have to prioritize.
Learning how to say no is an essential step to slowing down and getting more done.
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