The Blog

Slow Down…Are you Moving too Fast?

Have you ever been in such a hurry that in an attempt to get things done faster, it results in the contrary? Often, the effort to rush to complete one’s tasks becomes nothing short of futile.  As a result, things inevitably go wrong.  Mistakes are made.  We miss appointments or forget to do important things, and in the end, it actually wastes more time.

Do you think it’s because we genuinely have too much to do with too little time? Or, is it that we intentionally take on more, because we are so driven to earn more, accomplish more, and acquire more.  There is a difference.  One suggests we really do have a lot on our plate, but the latter implies that we are indeed creating our own pressure. It’s our competitive nature that fuels us. We have willingly enrolled in life’s fast-paced rat race to the finish.  Irregardless, both scenarios have a significant time-management component and good reason to think about slowing down.

We can all can agree that there is a price to pay for that compulsive drive to do more, to be better. And if we consider the harried pace in which we attempt to accomplish it all,  we are in danger of losing control.  Productivity obviously suffers but more importantly, one’s health and finance can be at risk too. Rushing through an over-scheduled day can be suffocating. It not only breeds stress, it can impact thoughtful decision making and yield a host of other negative consequences. Can you think of a time that a hasty decision had significant financial ramifications?

Yet with our busy lives, it is increasingly difficult to be “present” for each and every activity we engage in.  We frequently do a lot of tasks by sheer rote.  How many times are we operating on auto-pilot?  Too many, I’m afraid.  All too often, we are doing one thing while thinking about another. So many of us rushing around, doing, without even thinking.  Pushing the envelope, until we can push no more.

“You can only go as fast as the slowest part of you can go,”  said Bonnie Raitt after a 7 year hiatus from the studio. Wise words to contemplate. Classic take-away…know thyself.

So if your plate is too full, avoid trying to clean it all up in a hurry.   Stop.   Slow down.   Breathe.   It’s the only way to manage the overload.  It is far easier to focus on one task at a time and give it your proper attention, than rushing through too many simultaneously.  Nothing gets done well, just a lot of mediocre.

When you’re moving too fast,  it is difficult to make a connection between yourself and your task at hand. 

Conscious doing is far more effective than unconscious doing.  It is intentional participation.  No matter what it is that you’re doing, being “in the moment” will sharpen any experience and most likely emit better results. But we need to create the time and space to concentrate and pause.  In this way, we can  control our daily pace.  Beware of the dangers in unconscious multitasking. It can be an obstacle for getting things done, rather than a quicker solution.

As one who talks fast, walks fast, and works fast, I confess to doing just about everything fast.  It is very challenging to slow myself down, but when I do, I admit I feel more balanced.  My secret is committing to Pilates classes three times a week.  It is there that I can stop, breathe and get off the merry-go-round.

We can probably all benefit from slowing down a little, taking it down a notchReally, what’s the big rush? Where’s the fire?

So if you’re moving too fast,  how do you slow down?  What’s your secret?  I don’t mean to rush you, lol,  but I look forward to your comments. Inquiry minds want to know.



Read this post on single page to comment →

The Myth of Multitasking

We all love to brag and say that we multitask.  The notion of doing multiple activities at the same time is empowering. But do we actually get those things done in the most efficient way?  A colleague of mine, Ellen DePasquale, author of It’s About Time (Time Management Tips From The Software Revitalist) argues the fact that we are indeed not multitasking, rather in reality, we are “task-switching.”  The ability to focus on many tasks simultaneously and giving them our full attention is almost impossible. We are not robotic machines and as a result, something will be compromised. With the more daily activities, we often do them by rote, and so we pile more tasks on top of them because we think we can handle it.  But as we take on more, the complexity of what we are doing may be distracting us from doing anything well.  DePasquale writes, “besides the inability to focus well and being prone to distraction, when you task-switch you lose time between tasks.”  She simply suggests, do one thing at a time.  It makes perfect sense to immerse yourself in one single activity and do it well.

 Honestly, how many of you on any given day, have started doing a laundry, then decided to sort the mail, began paying some bills, perked the coffee, passed by the computer and decided to check your inbox, emptied the dishwasher, bagged the garbage, ran upstairs because your cell phone was ringing, and invariably, misplaced something along the way, or even forgot what task you were doing in the first place?   It’s OK, we all do it because we think we can do it all.  I, for one, am going to try to stop being Superwoman and juggle too many things at the same time.  This is a tall order, for sure, so I will attempt to abandon the following habits:  No more talking on the phone while reading or writing important e-mails (we all do it, and it is kind of rude when it is done to you); no more phone chatting while trying to cook a detailed meal (I inevitably forget an ingredient); no more driving and eating, while talking on the phone (even with hands free, this is neither safe nor good for digestion).  However, you will probably still catch me unloading my car, carrying  way too many packages on both arms, hands and all fingers burdened with the cell phone, eye glasses, sunglasses, keys, and most likely a beverage, all to save time from making multiple trips into the house.  In most case, something usually drops or breaks. Maybe one day I’ll change….but in this regard, probably never.

Read this post on single page to comment →