Do You Need To Slow Down To Move Faster?

Dec 28 2013, 12:07am CST | by

The end of the year is always a time to pause and reflect on things that went well and on things that could have gone better in the past year.

In this 24:7 connected world I find myself “half there” much of the time because my mind is chewing on a thousand different things.  My days are a flurry of activity – from the moment I drop my oldest off at school and catch my train to the city, to the end of the day when I clear emails after putting my little guys to bed.

While I keep my company and my personal life moving forward, my brain is often fragmented across competing priorities – a total website rewrite, staffing challenges across two offices, the well being of my family, the pressure to balance flawless execution with agility, the need to plan for the future.

But, am I giving up thoughtfulness to stay on top of everything?

What I’ve realized is that I need to slow down to move faster.  Said another way, I need to be ok NOT being on top of everything so I can approach it all more thoughtfully.

For example I receive hundreds of emails each day.  To stay on top of the flow, I catch myself shooting off a quick reply from a meeting.  Then I run from to the next meeting and do the same. Instead of driving my business, sometimes it feels as if it’s driving me.  I’m so busy executing, I’m not allowing myself the mental space needed to listen and fully absorb and process input.

When you do take time to “attend”, the quality of your input to any process or decision, and the quality of the output is better.  It takes self-discipline to listen…to stay in the moment…to attend…

My #1 Resolution for 2014 I will be a better listener.  I will…

  1. Execute less.  I’ve decided it’s really OK if I’m not on top of everything because my team now has enough breadth and depth to keep driving the business moving forward.  We are long past being a 3 person (ad)venture operating out of my Soho living room.
  2. Think more.  I will set aside a day a month for planning and strategy development.  I tried carving out time each day to give myself the mental space, for this, but invariably little things encroached – taking just one more phone call, dashing off just one more skype.  A dedicated day each month will give me the mental space I need to focus and create our “next” – mindfully.
  3. Be more disciplined.  And as extra insurance, I will logout of email and skype when I head into meetings, leaving my cell phone behind so I am “fully” present – since, YES!, old habits are hard to break.

Source: Forbes Business


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