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How I Got More Done By Slowing Down

Slowing down is the key to being able to think clearly when life seems too full.

Have you ever been in that space of feeling as though everything is constantly on ‘fast forward’? It feels as though you can’t stop and take a breath. There is always something to do or somewhere you should be. Something you should be doing.

You are constantly saying “There are never enough hours in the day.” At work it’s impossible to focus on one thing, because your mind is jumping all over the place. Jumping into all the things you still have left that you HAVE to have finished by the end of the day.

It really does feel as though there are not enough hours in your 24 hour day to get everything done.

This was my experience of working in the corporate world as a Project Manager.  Stressed, well I didn’t know anything else. My adrenals were working overtime, all of the time.  I felt tired all the time and couldn’t work out why.

At work I was thinking about what I hadn’t done and what I needed to do when I got home. At home all I could think about was work.

I thought life wouldn’t be okay if something wasn’t done.

I didn’t think I was a workaholic

I had my phone on constantly and was replying to messages, even when I was at home, after normal work hours. And on the weekends, well I was always working too because of all the things I hadn’t done that needed to be done. I wasn’t going to BE successful if I didn’t get everything done.

Yes, you could say I was a ‘workaholic.’ I didn’t think so though. I felt like a natural and normal way for me to be functioning. And stressed, well I think that was the understatement. I didn’t feel stressed. Not on the outside at least. I drank coffee everyday, something I never used to do. My body knew otherwise though.

I slept, sort of, for eight hours a night, although did I mention that waking up many times during the night worrying about one thing or another was a common pattern for me.

Does this sound familiar?

Slowing down, is possible

My belief was that it wasn’t possible to ‘slow down’ because slowing down would mean more things would be backed up, more things not done, life would fall apart. It felt like an even more stressful concept.

This thinking had me stay on this wheel for many more years than was healthy for me. The day that I went to a Chinese Medicine Doctor and had acupuncture for the first time, I couldn’t believe that I could feel different, or at least, how different I could feel.

It was this change that had me realize that slowing down was possible.  Slowing down. Initially the whole concept seemed so foreign that I didn’t even know what that really meant.

Slowing down then became something that I began to practice. And it took practice because going one hundred mile an hour felt so familiar, the idea of slowing down had to be something to learn.

Learning it was about noticing when my mind was in fast forward mode. And stopping. Even for half a minute. I would take that time to pause, and consider if what I was thinking and doing was valuable.

And you know the crazy thing about that.  The more I slowed down, the more productive I became.

Take time out. Look around. Pause.

Slowing down gives you more time

By slowing down I became more focused. By being more focused I got things done quicker.

This was the simple thing of only focusing on one thing at a time.  Crazy I know and yet, it works. I would allot an hour to do something and it would only take me 45 minutes. Because I was focused. I gained 15 minutes of ‘spare time’. When I did this for my whole working day, I ended up with one to one and a half hours freed up time each and every day.

Life became simpler to manage.  I got things off my TO DO list. Things that I had been putting off because of not having the time.  The more I did, the better life became. No more worrying about not having done things. No more stressing about not having enough time.  I had time. Plenty of time.

So, the moral of my story is slow down to speed up.  Slow down to gain more time. It’s a simple thing to do and makes a BIG difference to your stress levels.  Believe me, I know, from experience.

Even the simple act of becoming aware that you are operating at one hundred mile an hour will be a great start. This is that one small thing that will begin the change. The movement to less stress, and more productivity.

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