Slow down. The secret to getting more done is to do less.
The speed at which we all move these days gives life a frantic quality. It creates an anxious state of mind that keeps us from living in the moment.
Schedule pressures, commitments, and technological advancements convince us that the world is spinning faster. We convince ourselves that we need to move faster, work harder, and do more to keep up. This self-generated speed creates its own power and momentum, propelling us to accept it as the new normal. That’s a false belief.
I have a habit of studying athletes. I read their books and observe them closely on television and during live events. Through observation, I see an almost spiritual principle at work. Professional athletes seem to move in slow motion, yet they are running faster or throwing a ball farther than others. Their actions look graceful and effortless, because as masters, they have eliminated unnecessary moves. When asked to explain their success, they highlight their preparation, confidence, and patience to battle through adversity. Even when their backs are against the wall, they are calm and in control. They’re not frantic, rushing back to the gym to do more or acting in desperation to beat their competition. In fact, the successful ones do the opposite. They slow down, pausing to reflect on what is working and what is not. Instead of trying to add three new steps, they uncover ways to eliminate two, allowing them to streamline their efforts and become more effective.
As business professionals, we often do the opposite.
We think we can accomplish more by rushing through our day, adding more tasks to complete.
Many of us have become almost aggressive in how we manage our day. In an effort to match a concept of what we think success is, we overfill our calendars. We chase after appointments, phone calls, and meetings with jealousy and competition—whatever it takes to get us where we think we need to go. When life doesn’t meet our expectations, we get mad—mad at others and mad at ourselves.
The more you multitask, the harder it becomes to stay focused on and accomplish any single task.
I encourage you to consciously raise your awareness to the wasted effort that comes from succumbing to pressure and speed.
Spend your energy eliminating unnecessary activity so you can focus your attention on what’s truly important. You will become more efficient, achieve better results, and gain a higher level of clarity and discipline that is both graceful and effortless.
Do less and accomplish more—try it!