Stop using too many tools. To fill the need of saving time, we fall into the trap of using too many tools. This ends up wasting our time more than it saves it. Because what happens is that you create more information gathering points. If you have to look for information in too many directions, it wastes your time and instead of making you more productive, these tools make you way less efficient. Its more wisely to choose a couple that helps you organize your workload and get rid of the rest.
As a part of my series about “How to Slow Down To Do More” I had the pleasure to interview Agnese Rudzate.
Agnese Rudzate is a Coach specializing in Business Productivity and Time-management. With a professional background in Quality Management and Empowerment Coaching, she has turned her passion for organizing into her mission of helping women get more productive in life and business so they could gain theconfidence, clarity, and time freedomthey deserve. Through structure, systems, and processes that bring results, Agnese teaches her clients to scale in their business while increasing time freedom.
Thank you so much for doing this interview with us! Can you tell us the “backstory” about what brought you to this specific career path?
Thank you for having me.It’s my pleasure to be here and share my knowledge with the audience to hopefully inspire them to look for solutions in their own path on leveling up either in business or personal life. I come from a background as Internal Communications Manager and Quality Manager before deciding to use my knowledge, experience, and skills to support women in coaching businesses. And actually, it’s this experience that has given me tons of value and a deeper understanding in terms of effective process approach in business. All in the name of saving money, time, and other valuable business resources. I’m so blessed to have been able to experience how systems change the speed of growth and now use that to help others make an even greater impact.
A couple of years into Empowerment Coaching I decided that it was time to level up myself and create a more transformative experience for my clients. I took a good look at my passions and skills that I could add to build an experience of life-changing events. This is when I realized that Organizing has always been my superpower. It was time I put that into use to create unique transformation for my clients in all areas of their lives. This is when I really leaned into productivity, effectiveness in business processes to fulfill my mission of making the time work in our favor instead of being a victim to its never-ending motion.
According to a 2006 Pew Research Report report, 26% of women and 21% of men feel that they are “always rushed”. Has it always been this way? Can you give a few reasons regarding what you think causes this prevalent feeling of being rushed?
It’s easier than ever to be busy all day and make very little progress. We’re constantly pressured to meet deadlines, praised for multitasking, and facing challenges to filter information. Workers, entrepreneurs, business owners, service providers have always been encouraged to increase their performance. But now more than ever there is so much outside noise to deal with. It adds extra pressure and the feeling of always rushing through the days. With so much information coming from so many directions, it’s understandable that a lot of us get confused and lack focus. At these times of information overload, it’s easy to fall into the trap of wanting to be informed. It’s also easy to get distracted and stress ourselves out over wanting to complete everything on a to-do list. We live in a world of urgency, but only those that stay calm on the inside can manage their time with confidence. It’s more important than ever to create a loving relationship with time and stop the rush. The good news is that we have the power to do that. You see, we feel rushed because we keep adding to our to-do’s without properly prioritizing and planning the activities through the day. It builds up the pressure because we expect o finish our daily lists no matter how long they get. The “being rushed” feeling comes from trying to meet these unrealistic expectations.
Based on your experience or research can you explain why being rushed can harm our productivity, health, and happiness?
If we constantly try to do more, eventually we burn out and exhaust ourselves to the point where we are unable to perform at all. We should be thriving to increase our performance, but not by doing more. We should do it by doing smarter. I can say with confidence that there is at least one other way how the task you are doing can be done more effectively. There is always a smarter way. Unfortunately, we don’t always see it, so we keep doing what we are used to without realizing that one tweak could save our time, money, and energy. Wasting energy on trying to catch up with tasks, rushing through the day, we create an illusion of doing a lot. In reality, we divide our attention between these tasks lowering the quality of work. Multitasking is one of the most damaging habits that affect our health. It causes stress and the sense that we’re always rushing through the tasks. Multitasking in fact is impossible. What we do when we think we’re multitasking is actually task switching. This means that all tasks we’re trying to do at the same time get done at a lower quality. Because it takes more effort for our brain to switch between tasks rather than focus on one at a time.
On the flip side, can you give examples of how we can do more, and how our lives would improve if we could slow down?
We can do much more, serve better and give our best when we take care of ourselves. It might sound selfish, but self-care is foundational. If we truly want to give more and do more for the world, it’s a necessity. Would you agree that stressed out, anxious and burnout people would be able to create average results in their work, not even talking about creating an impact to better the lives around them? It’s the good old saying about filling our cup first so we can overflow and give to others. This is how we all can do more. Self-care highly increases our productivity and focus, also motivation and inspiration.
We all live in a world with many deadlines and incessant demands for our time and attention. That inevitably makes us feel rushed. Can you share with our readers 6 strategies that you use to “slow down to do more”? Can you please give a story or example for each?
It’s us that make ourselves feel rushed. Now more than ever we live in a world where “urgency” is part of our daily lives. Our upbringing has thought us to please the urgent need. We are being praised for multitasking. Focusing on one task at a time seems almost abnormal. In this case, Less truly is More. I’m more than happy to share my strategies on how to do more without feeling exhausted and rushed.
#1: Stop using too many tools. To fill the need of saving time, we fall into the trap of using too many tools. This ends up wasting our time more than it saves it. Because what happens is that you create more information gathering points. If you have to look for information in too many directions, it wastes your time and instead of making you more productive, these tools make you way less efficient. Its more wisely to choose a couple that helps you organize your workload and get rid of the rest.
#2: Stop undervaluing the time something will take to finish. Miscalculation of the time and energy the task will take is super common for high achievers. It’s when you end up with a longer to-do list than when you started your day. Fortunately, there is a simple solution to this. All you need to do is write down the time each task is going to take and then Double that time. That way you will have a much realistic plan that you can actually complete instead of bringing yourself down every time you overrun a set time.
#3: Stop procrastination. There is nothing more detrimental to concentration and true potential than going around in circles and making excuses about not getting down to real work. Not only does it create a huge backlog but also makes you feel guilty about not having started work, especially if it is urgent. The solution? Just start the tasks. Thats the hardest part, but just starting is the simplest solution to procrastination. Even if it’s just for 10 minutes, by just starting, it will bring you much closer to finishing it.
#4: Stop taking on too much. It lowers your performance and increases stress. You will not be able to fill your schedule with tasks that are important to your growth if you allow other people’s agenda to overtake yours. The simple solution here is to say Yes to a person, but No to a task. It teaches respect for yourself, your calendar, plan, schedule. You can spend time on a person, but evaluate if that task is of strategic importance to your growth.
#5: Stop taking too many breaks or not taking breaks at all. It’s pretty obvious that too many breaks leave less time to complete important tasks. Not taking brakes at all however is the less obvious way of slowing ourselves down. Brakes provide valuable downtime, which helps to think creatively and work effectively. Taking a 10 mine break every hour helps to clear the thoughts and rest the mind.
#6: Stop distractions. To be able to do more, we all should slow down on allowing outside noise to distract us. Understanding what distracts us, makes it very easy to manage what we allow to take our attention away. By eliminating distraction we are able to do more without overworking. The easiest thing to do is to turn off the notifications and unsubscribing to email noise. The 2 most common ways we tend to distract ourselves from important tasks.
How do you define “mindfulness”? Can you give an example or story?
Mindfulness starts within us. Once we truly know ourselves, we are able to give the best value to others, create impact while working less. In my line of expertise, it’s the knowing, understanding, and using productivity flow to the best of the ability. Understanding our flow means taking the time to make time. Once we truly get conscious or aware of the flow, it makes things much easier for us. We are not only able to get more productive, but highly increase the quality and efficiency of our work creating a more mindful impact.
Can you give examples of how people can integrate mindfulness into their everyday lives?
All of us have different rhythms, different times of day when we feel most productive and energetic. You can make the best use of your time by scheduling high-value work during your peak time, and low-energy work (like checking email), during your “down” time. That way you will be able to do more without exhausting yourself.
Do you have any mindfulness tools that you find most helpful at work?
I use several methods that help me ground myself and receive clarity. All types of meditation is my way of opening up to receive guidance. I have even created an album of meditations with specific tones and solfeggio frequencies to deepen the experience. What I have also found very helpful are Clarity questions that help me prioritize in seconds instead of going around with indecisiveness. For example, “If this is the only thing I accomplish today, will I be satisfied with my day?” or “How often do I give more importance to a task than it is actually worth?”. Strategic questions like these help me make mindful decisions aligned with my vision and goals.
What are your favorite books, podcasts, or resources that inspire you to use mindfulness tools or practices
Melissa Ambrosini is one of the authors that have inspired me to take more mindful action in my personal life and professional career. Her guidance, tips, and techniques from experience have helped me to take on my health and wellness journey. Her podcast is loaded with interesting and valuable tips by many experts she has as guests. Another great author that inspired me to take a more mindful approach to business and life is Gabrielle Bernstein. Her wisdom is a great source for self-development on many levels.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“Everything is a choice. Your choice”. This quote has motivated me to take responsibility for my actions, d editions and thoughts because everything truly is our own choice. Blaming back ouch, circumstances or other people is a lack of self-awareness. We have to power to change how we act, what we think and how we feel. All we have to do is Choose.
Thank you so much for these insights! This was so inspiring!