Often we hear of efficiency or productivity hacks. Was to get more done in a shorter amount of time. Why? Because there is so much to do.
I am as guilty as you are for eternally searching for the best to-do list or the app that will help me do more in less time. As I have gotten older, it’s become apparent that to speed up your life, you need to slow it down.
Isn’t that strange? Slow down? There are many powerful things we can do when we do this. For it is not how fast we do something, but rather is what we are doing aligned with what we need to or want to get done?
Here are some things to try where slowing down leads to going faster:
Take the time to organize everything around you. Clean up the clutter on your desk, in your room, kitchen or garage. Putting things back in the same place can help you find them more quickly the next time. Starting with a clean work area makes it easier to focus on the matters in front of you. The same holds true for information, your computer desktop, and data. You will find similar benefits when you organize them.
Outlines, project steps, and goal setting, all take time during planning before moving on. While a different form of organization, nothing apparently happens that others can see. Important to do so that you minimize the steps needed to complete something while making sure nothing is missing to better assure success in what you are about to do.
Spend a few minutes each day on reflection. What took up your time today? Were the steps you took aligned with what needed to get done? Did I fail or succeed? In either case, what went right or wrong so that you can improve or adjust what you will choose to do the next time. If your results were poor, do you need more practice or training to be prepared the next time?
Take time to test your thinking before making significant decisions or taking important next steps. Call – not text – people who you know have more experience than you do to bounce ideas off of them to find out how they might approach your problem. Putting time and effort into discovering options you never thought of could very well make you more effective.
Collaborate with teammates or trusted advisors before jumping to conclusions. Seek more information for the opportunity to create better alignment as well as bring clarity to your group before moving forward. More importantly, it helps bring clarity of thought to you personally before you choose your next course of action.
You can visualize speed in your life by measuring your effectiveness in the work/choices/actions you undertake daily. Effectiveness is really a measure of how few steps we could take to complete something.
Finding ways to mitigate our flawed thinking, our rushed lives, and our incomplete knowledge are necessary guardrails to protect us against ourselves. With the ultimate goal of being more effective which then leads to faster results in our lives. Needing only to slow down to improve the probability of success in our future.