Slow Down To Do More: “If we slowed down and got enough sleep, our ability to do more would increase the longevity of our lives and everything we do significantly” with Nashawn Turner

Authority Magazine
Dec 4, 2019 · 18 min read

Sleep. If we slowed down and got enough sleep, our ability to do more would increase the longevity of our lives and everything we do significantly. Research has shown that getting the proper amount of sleep works wonders because it fuels us with a natural energy that comes from being fully rested. When we get the proper amount of rest (which for most is at least about 8 hours or more and for some a little less) to function at our optimal level, we pace ourselves at a rate that is manageable and productive.

As a part of my series about “How to Slow Down To Do More” I had the pleasure to interview Nashawn Turner. Nashawn is an international speaker, empowerment expert, author, and Transformational Life/Leadership Coach, and she serves as a Forbes Coach Council. She designs life changing strategies and solutions for people, specifically women who are ready to take the lead in their own lives and own their power to stand in who they are and to express their unique greatness to live their best lives. She is the creator of THE TOTAL EMPOWERED WOMAN EXPERIENCE, a movement for equipping, educating, mentoring, and inspiring women to live successfully empowered and purposeful lives through powerful live events, retreats, and strategic mentoring connections. Nashawn is the Host of her own podcast on BlogTalk Radio called Uniquely Designed Talk — The Total Empowered Woman Radio Show. She is the Founder & CEO of Uniquely Designed Coaching, LLC, a personal and professional development & Life/Leadership coaching business dedicated to helping women make game-changing transformations and achieve uniquely-designed success. Nashawn’s work and contributions has been in Forbes, Success Magazine, Heart & Soul Magazine, UpScale Magazine, and Huff Post sharing her life and leadership coaching tips for moving people forward in their lives. She has and continues to empower thousands of people to be exceptional in who they are and in what they do in their personal and professional lives by promoting change, increasing growth, and creating outstanding results. As a consultant and trainer, Nashawn has worked with businesses, universities, churches, government agencies, and military organizations facilitating workshops, seminars, retreats, and conferences. Nashawn is known as a Change Agent for Transformation of individuals and companies. She is a Certified Transformational Leadership Coach from Transformational Leadership Coaching International now known as Lifeforming Leadership Coaching. She is also a graduate from Regent University with a Masters degree in Human Service Counseling.

Thank you so much for joining us, Nashawn! Can you tell us the “backstory” about what brought you to this specific career path?

I’ve always been someone who loves helping people to grow into who they were meant to be. As a young woman, people would come to me asking for advice and/or strategies that would help them to make bold decisions that would change their lives or their situations for the better. Over the years, more and more people would say that I was such a great person to talk to and that I have such a way of pulling things out of them just from the types of questions that I would ask them. I would ask questions that would bring about an awareness about themselves that they never encountered before. The awareness empowered them to transform their own lives.

As, I begin to see the powerful results that lead to the type of transformations that they were experiencing, I begin to wonder and pray about how I could use everything about my life (i.e. my upbringing, my education, my various careers, my faith, my skillset, my gifts, my talents, my travels with my husband via the military and living in different locations, meeting different kinds of people and cultures, etc.) and use it to help people to not only grow into themselves, but also to grow into their lives to truly live a successfully empowered life. I soon knew without a shadow of a doubt that this is what I wanted to do. I felt very strongly that it was a part of my purpose and calling. So I set out on that career path of serving in a way to being a change agent.

I soon began doing some research and I found out that there’s a real profession called “Life Coaching”. The first time I had knowledge of this kind of profession was in Oprah’s magazine over a decade ago. In the magazine, there was a woman who was doing just what I had envisioned doing with my life. So, I did more researched online and saw that I could become a coach too.

I later enrolled in a one-year certification coaching program called Transformational Leadership Coaching or TLC International which is now known as Life Forming Leadership Coaching. After completing the certification, I later earned a Master’s degree in Human Service Counseling and soon after, I started my business called Uniquely Designed Coaching, LLC to help people discover their unique path for becoming who they were created to BE and doing what they were created to DO personally and professionally.

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 unfortunate that many of us are feeling so rushed in today’s society. This says to me that many people are feeling as though life is moving at a breakneck speed and it feels almost impossible to keep up with it. Although, I don’t think that it was always this way, I certainly don’t believe that life was meant to be lived this way.

Why does that feeling exist among so many? I’m not sure. The reasons vary for why people are feeling rushed, but here’s my thoughts.

I think the lifestyle that people choose for themselves based on their own personal beliefs, preferences, and values play an instrumental role in what kinds of things fill up their lives and take up their time. And if the lifestyle does not make room to “push pause” and create a moment for personal down time, then this can cause the feeling of being rushed. For example, in many households both husband and wife may work outside of the home. Yet, because of the types of responsibilities that they may have before, during, and after work, places a demand on their time that they may feel they have no control over.

However, I believe if we take the time to examine what is on our plates and then decide what things can and should be eliminated, this along could assist us managing our lives better without the feeling overwhelm and rushed. Still, this will require us to be intentional and to slow things down.

Adjusting our lives to handle all the moving pieces in it is something that all of us must do whether married or single. We must give ourselves a break and stop feeling as if we must maintain all the balls in the air while at the same time juggling all the other distractions that creep into our lives unaware.

So, what keeps 26% of the women busy all the time? Perhaps for some women, it may be the inability to say “NO” more often to many of the demands that are placed on them from work and home that keeps them so busy. The feeling of letting others down also pushes many women to keep doing no matter what. This stems from the belief that women feel like they have to do it all, and that they can do it all. And although some women might believe that to be true, the reality is it can’t all be done at the same time. This means something has to give.

And for why 21% of men feel rush? Men’s identity is found in their work. Therefore, it may require them to step back to see how they can do things differently, so their time is not competing with what matters most. So, if work is the catalyst for feeling rushed, the need to dial back their ambitious drive to move up in the company especially if it is impacting their relationships in a negative way (i.e. spouses/significant other, children, family or friends) and causing things to suffer due to lack of priority.

Moreover, if there is a lingering feeling or belief that people have of “being behind” or “falling behind” in their responsibilities and obligations of people, places, and things, then this could certainly influence how we experience our lives resulting in feeling rushed.

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

Based on my experience, when people are rushed, there is a tendency to overlook things that we should have paid closer attention too. We are all so busy just trying to get things done that it doesn’t matter whether it’s done correctly or not. This impacts our PRODUCTIVITY in a negative way because if something is not done according to standard the first time, then it will have to be done all over again. This slows down production rate and increases the allotted timeframe given for a particular task to be completed. Finally, this delays what was intended to be accomplished with the kind of results that we originally set out to achieve.

When it comes to our HEALTH, rushing causes us to run ourselves down until either we experience burn out or we become physically ill. I always say that “our health is our wealth” and whatever we are going to accomplish in this life, we are going to accomplish it in this body. So, when we are running around just trying to catch up with ourselves; going from one task to the next without stopping, we no longer optimizing our ourselves physically or mentally with the strength and clarity to be our personal best.

Lastly, when we continuously hurry about, we run the risk of being unhappy. If we are scurry through our day never slowing down to make space for us to do what will make us HAPPY, we will find ourselves losing the joy that comes from what makes our heart sing. When we take the time to ask ourselves what makes us smile or laugh or to “dance like no one is watching”, we are taking the time to invest in our well-being.

If we continue to speed through life, life will pass us by and we will only get a glimpse of what our lives looked like from a distant, or perhaps what it could have been if we just took the time to smell the roses. If that happens, we would soon find ourselves living a life of regret. Why? Because we thought we didn’t have time to invest in our own happiness. Consequently, we missed out on so much.

Finally, slowing down to make the time to enjoy the flowers, or to listen to nature sing is a part of us choosing to experience living a fulfilled and satisfying life. Happiness is a choice and it is our responsibility to make ourselves happy. “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness” is our inalienable rights as human beings. So, don’t forfeit that right by choosing to live life chasing the things that doesn’t bring life, liberty, or happiness. That would not be living, it would only be existing. Therefore, slowing down to enjoy what does bring happiness is truly living the good life.

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?

There are two examples that comes to mind of how we can instantly do more and improve our lives by slowing down and that is: SLEEP & DELEGATION. (Of course, there are more but I will focus on the benefits of these two concepts).

Sleep. If we slowed down and got enough sleep, our ability to do more would increase the longevity of our lives and everything we do significantly. Research has shown that getting the proper amount of sleep works wonders because it fuels us with a natural energy that comes from being fully rested. When we get the proper amount of rest (which for most is at least about 8 hours or more and for some a little less) to function at our optimal level, we pace ourselves at a rate that is manageable and productive.

When one maintains as closely as possible a regular time to go to sleep, it provides the kind of vitality and stamina to soar for peak performance effortlessly. If we prioritized the amount of rest that our bodies and minds need, our lives will improve greatly because we will gain a level of focus to stay on task and function with excellence.

Delegating. We could accomplish more by delegating some of our task to others. By getting more people involve alleviates the pressure of feeling like we are the only ones that can do what we do. Delegation involves trusting others to get the job done as though they were you doing it. If we can lose the reins a little and allow others to act on our behalf, it will improve our process and our progress by expanding our ability to get more done and to free up our time to do other things.

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?

I have learned that busyness does not always equal productivity. I’ve also realized that there is only one ME. Therefore, to optimize who I am and to effectively maximize my potential for the things that matter most, I’ve learned how to slow down. Slowing down to me means intentionally focusing on the priorities that make my life work successfully and to become masterful at who I am and in all that I do.

The #1 way for me to slow down so that I can do more is to remind myself that “Self-Care is Soul Care.” If I’m out of sync with the core of who I am, then everything that flows out of me will be out of sync.

Here’s what I do to get myself back in sync.

  1. TAKE AN ENTIRE DAY OFF TO FAST

It can be once a week or once month to just abstain from my usual routine.

This includes TV, social media, cell phone, or it may include food and anything else that distracts me from fueling my soul.

For example, I did this fast during a time when I was facing a major decision regarding my business and moving to another country with my husband as well as many times since then. This time in my life really required me to get still, so that I could get clear for direction. I was not sure whether or not I would be able to sustain my business and keep it thriving. Well, after spending quite time alone without any distractions, I received a confirmation or knowing that my business would be sustained. As a matter of fact, my business thrived with me winning a major contract and I had plenty of consistent clients to work with and speaking engagements throughout my duration overseas.

2. PRAYER, READ, AND MEDITATE ON SCRIPTURES

These three practices helps me to slow down to renew my mind to gain peace of mind. It also helps me to relax instead of allowing myself to be anxious or stressed out when life is demanding either my attention, a decision, or a solution. I discovered that maintaining these practices gives me the ability to focus and handle the challenges of life better.

For example, I start my day with these practices. It has been the foundation in growing me in my faith as well as living a life of integrity, peace, and wholeness. These practices have grounded me in my identity and has empowered me to be who I am today. It is in them I live, I move, and I have my being. If I don’t start the day without doing these practices and just jump into my day, I feel discombobulated and all over the place. In a nutshell, I feel RUSHED. Without disciplining myself to slow down and take the time to connect with God through these practices, my life has and can be chaotic, lacking vigor and being present. I found that neglecting these activities keeps me from experiencing living a life that is more abundant than I could imagine.

3. READ EMPOWERING BOOKS

I love reading! Especially, anything that will help me to become a better me. Personal as well as professional growth definitely ignites me with passion and a desire for transformation in my own life and business. I love to share the wealth from what I am reading. So, whenever I come across a good book, I share it with others knowing that if it has influenced my thinking or changed my behavior in some way, it most likely will change theirs as well. Some of the books that I have read or is reading now are: Exponential Living by Sheri Riley, Playing Big: The Unsexy Truth About How to Succeed in Business by Kim Flynn, The New You: A Guide to Better Physical, Mental, Emotional, and Spiritual Wellness by Nelson Searcy & Jennifer Dykes Henson, and Conscious Business: How to Build Value Through Values by Fred Kofman and many more. All of these books have helped me to grow to the next level towards advancing my life and career.

4. JOURNALING

I have been journaling now for well over 30 years. It is an amazing, empowering tool that allows me to quiet my mind and create a sacred moment to write about what is on my heart. My journaling includes writing my thoughts, prayers, dreams, and desires down without editing myself. As a result, I’ve experienced some incredible and mind-blowing things to take place in my life.

When I look back through my journals and read about how much I have grown as a person, I am proud of my willingness to do the work to change who I am, into who I want to be. I am also in awe of the many things that I have always dreamt about come to pass in my life. It excites me to know that the power of journaling my hopes, my dreams, and my goals while activating my faith to believe in what is possible actually happens. I don’t have to force things to happen. I just allow them to take place by keeping by faith intact, and my actions in alignment with my faith. This process leads me to take creative actions from the creative ideas, and clarity I received to succeed in every area of my life.

Here is an example of the power of my journaling. I can remember a time when my husband and I wanted to honeymoon in Hawaii. At the time, we did not have the money to go. But somehow, I had always believed that I would get to Hawaii for at least two weeks to vacation. Well, my husband and I talked about it. I journaled about it, I prayed about it, and shared my beliefs to others. Well, not only did we go to beautiful Hawaii to live there for 3 years, but we also bought a home there in one of the most beautiful and exclusive neighborhoods that we still own to this day! The power of journaling and seeing my story evolve and dreams come true keeps me journaling as a part of my life’s journey.

5. SAY AFFIRMATIONS

Speaking affirmations for me is about speaking out loud what I believe to be true and acknowledging the power of speaking that truth over my life can actually cause to happen. This is something that I do on a regular basis.

When the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart are in agreement, it allows these positive and life-filled words to transform me and my thinking into a stronger and more confident me.

Affirmations declare who I am, and they empower me to create the extraordinary future that I want. How? My faith and vision continues to grow by me hearing myself speak these powerful words. Therefore, I move about life with assurance and not striving.

For example, although I had never done a 20K race before, I kept saying that I was going to do. I was out of shape and had a couple of health issues. Nevertheless, I keep saying that I was going to do and finish. I discipline myself, trained, and accomplished that goal.

6. NAPS

When we slow down and take a nap, we increase our effectiveness for doing more by leveraging our ability to stay fully engaged with passion, enthusiasm, and vigor towards whatever we are doing. Therefore, positioning ourselves to take on more of what we love to do.

This entire process from the six strategies that I shared restores my soul; so I can do more and be more.

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

Mindfulness to me to being present in the moment. Totally tuned into life and conscious of what is going within and outside of you. An example of being mindful for me is paying attention and leaning 100% into what I am doing.

So, one of the things that we established in our home for family dinners that no electronic devices are allowed at the dinner table. In addition, we don’t answer any phones if someone calls at that time. Why? Because we want to be fully engaged with the conversation that is going on. This is the time to check in with one another and to connect in a real way to each other. It makes everyone feel valued and loved.

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

Here are a few quick things that requires you to be mentally tuned in:

Get up early before anyone else is up and spend time along with yourself to listen to connect to your own heart and thoughts.

Take a hot bath with some beautiful scented candles in silence or listen to relaxing instrumental music.

Take 5 minutes to sit in nature.

Fast from all media for a day.

Write a letter to a friend.

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

Some of my mindfulness tools that I find helpful is taking a break and going for a walk. I love nature. I love listening to the birds sing, crickets chirp, and to feel the wind blowing softly on my skin. I also love to sit in a park and people watch. I love to hear the laughter of children playing, etc. Also, put a timer on your phone and the amount of time that you will not be answering your phone and make sure it is on DO NOT DISTURB.

This is like putting ourselves on a “timeout” while working to tune into life. It makes a such huge difference. What I know for sure is that there is something about being conscious of my surroundings and allowing myself moments to reflect and contemplate life all while renewing my mind with the good things in life.

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

Some of my favorite books and tools that has helped me to renew and center my mind are:

Spirit of the Mind by Casey Treat, Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer, and Less is More: Spirituality for Busy Lives by Brian Draper. Lastly, there is a great app that I use on my phone called “Shine.” It is self-care & meditation app that also includes motivation, empowerment, relaxation and stress reduction messages, fitness, affirmations and more. It is like a daily self-compassion coach in your pocket.

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 Life Lesson Quotes is by the late, great Maya Angelou, a phenomenal American poet. She said, “when a person shows you who they are the first time, believe them.” This is a very powerful statement. The wisdom behind this powerful statement is wrapped up in the fact that whether we want to believe it or not, people are showing us their “true” selves. The “red flags” that we often see but ignore are the warning signs in spite of us trying to give them the benefit of a doubt. However, we must pay attention to those “red flags.” If we don’t, the relationship could become very detrimental to us as a person. So, whatever we see in a person, we decide upfront if we can deal with the collateral damage that may ensue by building a relationship with them. Remember, if you see the red flags especially at the beginning of the relationship, it is better to cut your losses now and move on.

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. :-)

The movement I would start that would bring about the most amount of good to the most amount of people would be the called The Connection Movement. This would be a movement for everyone to stop allowing themselves to be so busy that they can’t or won’t take the time to truly reconnect with each other again. This means to have a real conversation with someone without a computer screen or a phone screen between the two of you. Become intrigued with hearing their voice and enjoying their company like in time past. It has almost become a lost form of communication.

So, instead of us interacting mainly through texts or emails, make it mandatory to schedule at least one in-person encounter once a week so that we can experience “humans” just “being” together enjoying and creating moments and memories face to face. I believe there is something about looking each other in the eyes and connecting with the soul of another person. It’s been said that “the eyes are the windows to the soul” and perhaps there is where we really meet the truest version of ourselves.

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

Authority Magazine

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Authority Magazine

Leadership Lessons from Authorities in Business, Pop Culture, Wellness, Social Impact, and Tech. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.

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Authority Magazine

Leadership Lessons from Authorities in Business, Pop Culture, Wellness, Social Impact, and Tech. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.

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