Not Enough Time? How to Slow Down and Achieve More
You set your goals, prepared to meet personal challenges and geared up to win professional battles.
Ready to run down the path to success, you resolved to get more done and achieve your dreams. This was your time.
So,you began to make things happen. And you really believed you could do it all.
You scheduled and networked. You planned and projected. You invested and integrated new resources and skills.
And perhaps you’ve kept a fevered pace or burned the midnight oil to get it all done, believing it is just the pace of pursuing your dreams.
Still, does it seem that, too often, your accomplishments in the workplace and otherwise, feel shallow, unfinished, or unfulfilling? Despite all of your effort and high-speed activity, does the potential of your dreams still seem somehow untapped and your core mission unrealized?
You’re not alone. And if you want to be effective, you can’t go on this way.
Whether you’ve spent years wearing yourself out with an unmanageable schedule or have just come to the realization that your New Year’s resolution “to get more done” feels increasingly out of reach, a bit of life coaching could help you slow down and still achieve more.
Not convinced? Consider the following obstacles to your time challenges and some ideas for overcoming them.
What it Means to Slow Down…
“Take a five-thousand-foot view of the impact and pressures placed upon you. Look at the ‘forest.’ You can only do this if you slow down, step out of the daily routine, and think bigger.” — Bud Roth, author of Be More Productive? Slow Down: Design the Life and Work You Want
You might be wondering, “what does ‘slow down’ really mean?”
Don’t you still have responsibilities? Aren’t you receiving life coaching to jump start your life goals, not stall them? Sure, you’d like time to think, rest, breathe…but doesn’t success demand that those things be put on hold for the sake of your dream?
In a word? No.
In fact, perpetually working at a breakneck pace all but guarantees burnout and avoidable missteps that could undo all of your hard work anyway.
So let’s consider a wiser course. First, take time to acknowledge what’s tripping you up:
Clarity is key. Always. To get more done you cannot live in a constant state of overwhelm. Busyness is not best. Purposeful, clear-minded action is optimal. Hold your commitments and appointments to review and consider each one. What purpose do they serve? Whose agenda do they accomplish? Decide why you are doing what you’re doing. Then your time is used wisely.
It may seem that saying yes to everything proves your dedication. However, continually taking on more demonstrates a significant lack of judgment and leadership. Keep your role in mind and work at asserting your right to play your part while affirming others in their roles. A life coach is an excellent option if you struggle here. An objective perspective can help you discern the difference between tasks you must do and those you can share, push back, or reject altogether.
Studies show that attacking tasks simultaneously is a recipe for stress and unnecessary mistakes. While it may seem like everything must be accomplished at once, everything doesn’t have to be accomplished by you.
Use time best by delegating tasks so that items on your to-do list are getting done at the same time by people you trust. Then you can guide the activity without being buried by it. This also builds the skill of your team or family member. Additionally, successes can be celebrated together and failures can be growth experiences for everyone.
Collaboration is crucial. Are your time and energy dominated with no room to rest by a crush of choices, big and small? Consider whether you really feel comfortable making decisions with no outside perspectives. It’s likely that if all decisions must be made by you alone, you’re missing some key ideas, innovations, and areas for growth.
Take a better look around. Where are your teams, advisors, and supporters? Have you sidelined them? Are they worried about your possible burnout or feeling left out as your run yourself ragged?
What it Takes to Achieve More…
If you want more time, freedom, and energy, start saying no.
Say No to Depletion
Protect your mental, monetary, and relationship resources. Time will open up if you recognize the value of a more intentional collaborative life. Plot the use of your resources rather than finding them depleted by reaction or overreaction stress and over-scheduling.
Drained people accomplish little.
Also, value time for self-care too. Create the mental and environmental space you need to consider and appreciate your entire life, core needs, and deeply held desires. This helps shape purpose and direction.
Say no to Distraction
Sustained, high-speed effort can distract you from quality, accuracy, and your desired outcome. Try not to lose your way with busyness and the notion that success equals frenetic activity. Be intentional with your time. Don’t give it up without knowing why and how it serves you. You may achieve more if you slow down and work at peak performance rather than your peak pace.
Say No to Disorganization
Confusion is a time thief. If you feel challenged to stay organized, hire an expert in life coaching or professional organizing who can highlight areas that are out of control or contribute to that “no time to breathe” feeling.
All in all, it comes down to this: It is vital that you remember your primary objectives. Your purpose. Whatever your goals, however amazing, useful, or world-changing, you’ll need the time to think them through, the freedom to take the journey, and the stamina to lead those you wish to inspire.
About the Author
Dr. Stan Hyman is a licensed psychotherapist and life coach in private practice in Miami, Florida. He works with people wanting to perform at higher levels to achieve success in both life and work. This includes individuals, couple, and business partners.