“Focus on one thing at a time.” With Beau Henderson & Angela Bradford

Without breaks, health and wellness also takes a hit and that cannot be replaced! My experience has taught me this truth. I was so busy that eventually my body broke down and the result was Multiple Sclerosis, which is an autoimmune disorder that can be directly related to a body “breaking down”. As a part […]

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Without breaks, health and wellness also takes a hit and that cannot be replaced! My experience has taught me this truth. I was so busy that eventually my body broke down and the result was Multiple Sclerosis, which is an autoimmune disorder that can be directly related to a body “breaking down”.

As a part of my series about “How to Slow Down To Do More” I had the pleasure to interview Angela Bradford.

Angela is a Senior Marketing Director with World Financial Group. Within four years of transitioning from the blue collar world of trucking and training horses, to the white collar world of finances and training people, she has opened multiple offices and started expansion into two countries. She has an amazing team working with her and has the goal of opening an office in every state and province in North America within the next 10–15 years.

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?

What brought me into the financial industry was my choice to take an opportunity that came up just over 4 years ago. I believe in taking opportunities and seeing where they take me. Life is short, so I want to live it to the fullest!

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?

Wow! I am surprised at these results, 26% seems low. I feel our current society encourages speed: the busier we are, the more we think we are loved or special. Our significance now comes from being “busy” and working even harder. Collectively, we encourage and almost revere these values, often to the expense of family, friends, faith, and health.

Based on your experience or research can you explain why being rushed can harm our productivity, health, and happiness?

I find that when I rush, I miss things and have to go back and redo them, which actually takes more time. I also find that feeling rushed diminishes my feelings of happiness. I am so busy running to the next thing, I do not enjoy as much as I could the activity or relationship I am actually in.

Without breaks, health and wellness also takes a hit and that cannot be replaced! My experience has taught me this truth. I was so busy that eventually my body broke down and the result was Multiple Sclerosis, which is an autoimmune disorder that can be directly related to a body “breaking down”.

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?

During the last year, since I got diagnosed with MS, I’ve started to focus on pre-planning my days so I can accomplish all I want to in the time I have available. I have found that the more “managed” my days are, then more I accomplish the activities that actually move me closer to my goals and dreams.

Since health and well-being are part of my life goals, I also schedule downtime. Sometimes we need to slow down to go faster.

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?

This is so true! Here are a few “hacks” that may help in no particular order.

Take the time to pre-plan your day either first thing in the morning or the night before.

Since I have begun pre-planning my days in a more focused way, when I finish an activity, I look at my schedule and just go on to the next thing. In this way, for example, I have found that I can avoid time-consuming activities such as scrolling through social media.

Get on your social media, post, and get off of it.

Part of my list of things to do everyday is to post on “business media” at least once. I have also changed my phone settings to lock me out certain apps such as Facebook or Instagram if I am on them for too long. This is still something I am working on, but awareness is a great first step to spending less time on social media.

Meditate daily.

Every morning I take about 15 mins to just “be”, so I can visualize my future, be introspective, and quiet, and remind myself of my goals and dreams. This helps me work harder during the day as it reminds me of why I am working the way I am and where I am headed.

Take time to grow.

Put time into you: read, listen to audios, meditate, carve out thinking time, and time for fitness. Do all you can do to grow yourself and make sure you are replenished. It is hard to fill another’s cup when your’s is empty.

Focus on your goals.

Analyze everything you do based on where you want to go, or don’t want to go. When you know the final destination, you don’t waste as much time on random “trips” on side roads.

I spend time every day reviewing and visualizing these goals. This process takes time, but I know that after some years of doing this, I find I now waste very little time on those side roads. Of course, this is a process, so I do not claim perfection.

Consider your associations.

We have heard the expression, “you are the average of the 5 people you hang out with the most.”

Your associations will encourage you to grow or slow down. We need to be very conscious of the people we hang out with. I have learned to ask myself, is my motivation to do the work it takes to reach my goals helped or diminished by being it with this person or group? When the answer is “diminished,” I believe it is better for both parties to spend less time together.

This concept of limiting associations is one I thought about and debated for years. I didn’t want to “cut” people out of my life that were “good” people. But the more I became conscious of who I was hanging out with, and asking myself if the relationships were encouraging me to move towards my goals, the more my life changed for the better.

How do you define “mindfulness”? Can you give an example or story?

For sure I am happy to give my definition and an example! I define mindfulness as being conscious of the unconscious, and of being aware of what we are thinking about, and why we are having those thoughts.

A story that comes to mind, took place at a recent BBQ I attended. I find it to be easy to go to events and not be fully engaged, so this time, before I walked into this event, I made a decision. The decision was to be fully present and provide value to those that were there.

I found myself listening, observing and participating in the conversations around me; this helped me to really be present during the event. As a side bonus, I genuinely connected to a few of the guests there, in a way I wouldn’t have otherwise. The end result was a very enjoyable event, and leaving with a satisfying feeling of personal growth.

Can you give examples of how people can integrate mindfulness into their everyday lives?

It is easy to be sidetracked by the phone or other distractions. To become fully “present” takes concentrated effort, especially at first. One way to help eliminate distractions is to begin to incorporate mindfulness into your day by doing only one activity at a time. It may be necessary to set a timer from task to task, so you don’t get distracted when other things come to mind.

The payoff is incomprehensible. You are more productive, more in control, and you start to move toward a healthier experience and life as you learn to focus on one thing at a time.

Do you have any mindfulness tools that you find most helpful at work?

One of the things I have found helpful at work, is taking moments to meditate or at least just be still and quiet. In these moments, I have found renewed strength to “be on my game.” This in turn helps me produce better results in my business.

What are your favorite books, podcasts, or resources that inspire you to use mindfulness tools or practices

One app I like is the Insight Timer for meditation, it’s helped me immensely to learn how to practice mindfulness.

I also follow a few podcasts: The Ed Mylett ShowJay Shetty, and John Maxwell are three podcasts for which I haven’t missed an episode. As for books, I read a lot, but I will share one book that has influenced me recently the most. It is by Dr. Joe Dispenza, Becoming Supernatural.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

One of my favorite quotes is “life happens for us, not to us.” I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis just over a year ago. I could have believed my life had “ended”; instead I chose, and continue to choose, to use the tough times to build myself into a stronger person and make a bigger impact in the world.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I am working on creating a movement to empower women to reach their full potential. Women are so powerful and many of us just need someone to help us find our “seed of greatness”.

Thank you so much for these insights! This was so inspiring!

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