Slow down to speed up

In this fast paced world we are being bombarded with so much information and our to-do list can be longer than the amount of hours we have in the day. We hear about being mindful and present in the moment but surely we need to be doing more? in this article I will be discussing how slowing down and doing less can make you more successful and happier.

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The UK is experiencing a business epidemic, how often have you found yourself comparing who has the most on or is the busiest? It is as though doing more is a badge of the person you are even when you are feeling run raged or exhausted. 

Take time out  

When do you come up with your best ideas? For me it is certainly not when I am sitting at my laptop or rushing from one thing to the next, it is when my phone is switched off. I might be at a yoga class, at the gym, playing with my kids, walking in the park. It is when you have some time away that you are at your most creative and inspired. 

Focus on one thing at a time 

Multi-tasking is a myth, when we flit between tabs on our laptop our concentration levels go down and it takes us longer to get anything done. We can also feel overwhelmed when we have too many competing priorities which can increase our cortisol levels and mean we are more likely to suffer from stress. By focusing on one thing at a time we are more likely to finish it and get it done plus we are reducing our mental overload.

Do what you enjoy 

It sounds cheesy but when we do what makes us happy and what we enjoy we feel better and happier. Instead of focusing on your to-do list write another list with all of the things that make you happy. Write at least 10 things that bring a smile to your face and focus on doing these every week, the more you do the better you will feel. Remember this is not another to-do list listening to yourself and what makes you happy.

Listen to your body 

Our bodies give us clues, if it is telling us to slow down then slow down. Do what feels right for you in the moment rather than piling on more pressure. Today I was at a talk where Pip Black from Frame mirrored what I am saying, she chooses her workout to match how she is feeling that day. If we are getting the slow down signals then listen, it is telling you for a reason! 

Be present 

When you are feeling overwhelmed take time to focus on the present, an easy way of doing this is to do a breathing exercise where you focus on your breath. My all time favourite is to focus on what is around you, this works really well if you are outside and you focus on one sense at a time, I am sure in my busy moments I have zoned out from the birds singing and the wind in the leaves. Bringing yourself back to the now helps keep you grounded and slow down.

The world of social media can make us think we always need to be going at a million miles an hour, we don't, slowing down can be the easiest way to make progress and you are doing it in a sustainable way. 

Ruth Kudzi

Coach , Ruth Kudzi Coaching Limited

Qualified coach, mentor, speaker and author working with female entrepreneurs to help them build and scale purpose-lead businesses. Ruth has worked with 1000's of women helping them to develop their strategy and mindset and take consistent action.