Faster is not always better, it doesn’t take you anywhere. Slowing down helps to lead better and achieve success faster. While this may sound counter-productive, but it isn’t. Successful leaders value slowing down appreciating its benefits. You need to take effective actions to reach your goals. How is that possible if you choose to run faster and faster?
A fast-paced life means full of overwhelming moments and a higher probability of burnouts. You see challenge all around and not a single moment of respite. Reverse the practice and watch how your focus and productivity shoot up.
Slowing down does not mean postponing important tasks that will drive your organization’s growth. It also does not mean waiting for a last-minute call. Slowing down means making conscious choices of your activities allowing more time.
Unintentional entry to the fast-paced life
You will be surprised to find how this unhealthy rush in life has been influenced by the fast-changing socio-economic scenario. We have created an urge to mindless chasing pushing ourselves to unhealthy choices.
Why it is important to slow down?
If you keep racing, your mind remains cluttered with many unproductive thoughts. You fail to spot shining things in your track.Slowing down helps us to appreciate life better guiding us to the best route to success. You reclaim time and make meaningful connections. You get to see and learn many things which have a long-term impact. You have better control of yourself and the situation. It takes off your stress keeping you healthy and more productive.
How can we slow down to achieve success? Here are the ten ways:
Effective ways slowing down can help in achieving success:
Sets the intention
Your mind is always in motion not the world. As a leader, you need to slow down to clearly define your objective as you carve your way to success. It helps your mind to sort thoughts properly before setting them into action.
Tip: Structure your morning with intentions
Create the intention in the morning to set the tone of your day. Set up specific goals, mind your likes and dislikes, and promise yourself enough rest and sleep. In the beginning, you may keep your goals short, simple, and easy to accomplish. Start with those activities that you enjoy. As you start reaping the benefits, you are likely to stick to this habit. You may need to revisit your evening and night routines to start the morning with an intention.
Gives better clarity
As a leader, you should have a bird’s view of the situation that you need to deal day-in day-out. You miss out on many crucial details when you speed through your activities. The result, you take erratic steps.
Tip: Schedule “check-ins” every week
Select one or two hours every week to check your intentions and objectives. Think deep to spot the challenges and opportunities that are showing up. Find out what is working and what is not. Select which areas you need to invest your energy the next week.
Builds your energy reserve
Burnout is a real problem with leaders. A fast-paced lifestyle and mounting pressure create more problems than achievements. A continuously running car engine will get overheated and blow up. You need to slow down to reenergize your mind and body. You will feel more focused and motivated.
Tip: Follow mind-body reenergizing programs
Adequate rest and sleep are the two prime criteria to reboot your mind and body for bigger leaps in activities. Practice early rising when our circadian rhythms are at their best. Take scheduled breaks. Find time for healthy relationships, entertainment, and leisure activities to refresh your mind.
Drives focus on self-care
You cannot achieve success if your mind, body, and spirit are out of sync due to your constantly being on. Take time to respect specific needs of your mind, body and spirit to keep yourself moving.
Take ‘slowdown’ breaks
Utilise in-between-work breaks to practice intentional slowdown. Take time and enjoy your coffee or snacks without glancing at the presentation or wracking brains for work-related activities. Observe your surroundings mindfully – the objects and happenings without the feeling of rushing back to work. Enjoy small things like the twitter of a bird, shades of nature, or the moving life.
Go slow with your food
Think about how we gradually got into the habit of unhealthy takeaways or packed foods. Cooking food at home makes you mindful of healthy choices. Enjoy eating with family or friends instead of gobbling it alone while working.
The International Slow Food movement encourages the practice of growing your own food, cooking, and savouring every bite that you take. Cooking and slow eating help you unwind almost similar to meditation.
Get small doses of joy everyday
Lots of joyful things are happening around you. You need to give a pause in identifying and enjoying those moments. Such small moments nourish your mind and teach new perspectives. Humorous moments with your peers and colleagues will refresh your mind helping you build a positive attitude even if you are under stress.
More you allow yourself breathing space, better you are in prioritization and task management. A racing mind won’t allow you to do that and you are likelyto suffer from burnouts.
Tip: Try focusing on one task at a time
As you build focus on single-tasking, automatically you cut out distractions and start prioritizing work. Multitasking creates more clutter and in the pursuit of doing things fast, you start lagging.
Improves your communication skills
Leaders with hurrying thoughtsfail to communicate clearly. Slowing down will make you more attentive to how you are communicating.
Tip: Be a good listener first
Give time to understand what is being communicated to you. Mindful listening helps you in better understanding of the problemor situations. You will process the input better and come up with the best suggestion or solution.
Speak with intention
Why do you need to speak or communicate? Get your intentions clear. This will help in articulating the right words and gestures that will create a great impression. You will be better at sharing your ideas and knowledge with peers and seniors.
Helps in harnessing emotions
Emotions are powerful. Too many people fail to harness its power in leadership roles. It is a vital trait of successful leaders who know ways to channelize their emotions instead of getting into knee-jerk reactions. When you slow down, you can feel and process your emotional experiences that will guide you to healthy responses.
Tip: Practice observation
Try to analyse objects and situations even if it is not related to your business or organization. Observe behaviours and temperament of people around you, how they are talking, how they are responding or reacting. This will build your understanding capability which will help in processing your emotional experiences and feelings.
Control only the controllable
A mindset works that if we are unable to control everything in our lives, we will end up being losers. You cannot change every situation but change your approach to act or react to it.
Promotes better learning
Great leaders are always great learners. You need to learn from every good and bad outcome, but hurrying won’t help.
Tip: Slow down the learning curve
Fast information loading in the brain does not help in learning unless you give enough time to process it. Create a strategic learning schedule and give enough time to have a better grasp on the subject.
Supports better decision-making
What’s good in racing all the time if a single decision can reverse all your hard work? There is no use of getting over-concerned with outcomes without addressing the basics.
Tip: Practice stillness
It could be breathwork, meditation, listening to music, or chanting calming phrases. As you exercise your mind to stillness, it gets more space to absorb information and evaluate the situation crucial in decision-making. You will work better, effectively, and sustainably.
Creates opportunities for exploration
It is natural for leaders to explore more to reach newer milestones. An exploring mind allows inflows for innovation, creativity, and information retention.
Tip: Find new ways of engagement
It could be knowledge-building exercises, participating in forums or communities, or interacting with experts relevant to your subject and target. Unless you allow your mind to slow down, how will you fit in those exploratory activities?
‘Slowing down’ is not a luxury or privilege but a mandatory requirement to achieve success. Consider the above-mentioned benefits and strengthen your leadership qualities. As you appreciate the benefits of slowing down, you will be able to create better ways. You cannot always keep yourself away from overwhelming situations but achieving success become smoother if you can balance between fast-paced life and slowness.