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Want to Be More Successful? Slow Down

Being at the top of your game 24/7 can be physically and mentally exhausting. High expectations and technological advancements that keep you constantly connected come at a high price, one you may surprisingly pay for in failure.

“Social media is full of influencers, entrepreneurs, and gurus touting the virtues of hustling at all costs,” writes Andrew Thomas, a successful entrepreneur and columnist for Inc. “It’s reached the point where hustling, and even just talking about hustling, appears to be more important than actually producing results. The antidote to the always hustling mindset is slowness. It sounds crazy, but slowing down can be the difference between success or failure, or between thriving and burning out.”

To achieve more, do less. Being busy is not a virtue. Slowing down will increase your energy and focus while improving motivation and productivity.

“Having some slowness in your life is actually one of the keys to success,” says Thomas. Slowing down allows you to see things that you would otherwise miss and to be more effective at managing the big picture. With that in mind, here are three ways that slowing down can help you succeed at what you are doing and enjoy it more.”

In “3 Simple Ways to Slow Down in Life,” Success agrees, “Life is getting more and more chaotic and fast. Not too long ago, we praised the ability of multitaskers who could simultaneously do a billion things brilliantly. Now studies show… that unitasking is the way to go. It seems counterintuitive but, in actuality, by slowing down and concentrating on one thing we become more efficient and productive.”

As life heads for warp speed, Success recommends three easy ways to slow your pace (just a bit):

  • Turn off electronics;
  • Breathe; and
  • Focus.

These are somewhat obvious recommendations, but they can be difficult to achieve in hectic day-to-day life. However, the payoff is worth the effort.

For clarity, take a step back to see the big picture, whether of your personal life or your business goals. In hustling around to meet everyone’s needs, your field of vision is sharply narrowed and you can miss great opportunities. When your mind isn’t racing, it can absorb information, assess circumstances, and make sound decisions. Take time to reflect on what’s working, what isn’t working, and where you can refocus your energy.

And speaking of energy, Australian occupational therapist Angela Lockwood wonders if you’ve “ever tried sprinting a marathon?” Frequently hired to help organizations, schools, and individuals prioritize health and well-being, Lockwood writes, “When we try to push ourselves beyond our limitations, the effects of burnout take over, and we find ourselves without the energy, focus, and motivation to get through the day… three factors crucial to success in any business.”

“When we slow down, we give our bodies the time they need to rest and re-energize,” says Lockwood, “we become agile in our responses to unexpected challenges; this enhances our ability to make better decisions, and our creativity flows.”

Tied to both of those is sleep deprivation, which is known to impact our ability to focus, as well as to make rational decisions and respond to situations. “Not getting enough sleep could be holding you back in business, and if you are not an early riser, then you could be missing out on your peak period of productivity,” adds Lockwood. “Early morning is when our circadian rhythms are at their most alert, our attention and energy peak, and it’s the perfect time to work on priorities, setting a frame of clarity and calm for the rest of the day.”

Taking a short break between projects, going for a brief walk, or even resting your eyes can help improve your energy and renew your motivation for work. As Lockwood says, “Switching off will no longer seem like a cop-out or a luxury, but instead a necessity if we are to keep up with the pace of life.”

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