Slow Down to Maximize Your Productivity
3 tips that will enhance every area of your life.
“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”
— Dale Carnegie
Have you ever caught yourself running from one event to another and missing out on the details of what’s going on at each event? It seems like our lives have turned into a contest of how much we can fit into each day; we go nonstop from the time we rise until we hit the pillow. Yet at the end of the day, sometimes, we question what we did all day, as there’s not much to show for our “hard work.”
Yesterday, while I was watching a Major League Baseball game on TV, the announcers were talking about how the league was trying to speed up the game. That made me stop and wonder if our society has it backwards; maybe we need to all slow down and enjoy the game!
As I listened to the announcers talk, I couldn’t help but to think about how much I enjoy the slowness of the game of baseball. I enjoy watching the game and the strategy behind it; I enjoy ordering a beverage or a food item from the vendors that walk through the stands; I enjoy listening to the obnoxious fans near me; and I enjoy having a conversation with the people sitting around me. After all, that’s the game of baseball!
Baseball is much more than the game being played on the field; it’s an event full of relationships, emotions, and memories — why would anyone want to speed that up? I can still vividly remember the games my dad and I went to at Yankee Stadium. It was an all-day adventure, and I loved every minute of it. We would arrive a couple hours early and leave an hour or two after it ended. To this day, I still talk to my dad whenever I can catch a game on TV, even though we’re 1,200 miles apart.
If you think about it, our lives are similar in many ways. We seem to be trying to shorten events just to try to squeeze something else in. It doesn’t matter if we are at work or at home, we seem to have developed a mindset of more is better.
However, I believe we can actually increase our productivity and enhance our lives if we learn to slow down. Here’s three ‘back-to-basic’ tips that if applied, will eventually increase productivity and enhance our lives:
1. Focus on the Event
Stop rushing through each moment of your life like the next event is more important than the one you are at. Slow down, take your time to observe what is happening around you; listen and converse with the people who are right in front of you, and always make eye contact with them! It’s amazing how eye contact with somebody can alone enhance the moment. Consider each event you participate in as the most important thing you will do today; give it your complete focus without thinking about what’s next.
2. Enjoy Each Moment
Learn to enjoy and appreciate each moment and everything that is happening around you. All too often we are in such a hurry to complete something that we miss the little things going on around us. For example, if you’re stuck in traffic, welcome the opportunity listen to a great song or a quality podcast; take time to look at the cars and the scenery around you; be courteous to other drivers (even if they don’t deserve it), and enjoy the moment!
Celebrate the great moments and learn from the not-so-great moments. Appreciate everything you have, and don’t worry about other events you might miss. Fear of missing out is a feeling we create because we think we need to be involved in everything; however, it diminishes the current moment we are in… chill out and enjoy the memorable moment that’s taking place right in front of you.
3. Really, Really, Really Get to Know Your People
Many of us say we know the people around us, yet few really do. Do you know their aspirations, goals, and needs? Do you know what their ‘best day ever’ was, and their worst? Do you know what motivates them to get out of bed each day? Do you know what makes them happy, and sad? If you don’t know this relatively small list of things, you really can’t claim to “know them.” Here’s my advice: start at home and work outwards. Get to know the people around you by asking fun questions that will start an interesting discussion. One thing is for certain; you cannot get to know people without having intentional, meaningful conversations!
The bottom line is if we learn to slow down we can drastically enhance every area of our lives. By slowing down, we have the opportunity to focus on and enjoy each moment, and get to know the people around us. Only by slowing down can we truly be engaged enough to reach our maximum potential. When the people around us see that we genuinely care enough about them to give them our time and attention, there will be no limits to what they will do for us. In turn, our overall productivity will increase over time, and we will form relationships we never imagined possible… at home, at work, and in our communities. Now, let’s go enjoy a long baseball game with friends!
“Run to Your Challenges… to Achieve Greatness & Stand Out Among Leaders!”
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You can contact Paul directly at PaulGrau@CurrentLeadershipCoaching.com