Blog: Is slowing down the key to productivity?
Many successful business people identify with being a ‘Type A’ personality, which we colloquially agree means ambitious, action oriented, goal driven and tenacious. This often translates to a full schedule and a long To Do List with big goals to achieve. However, we are all limited by the time and energy we have available to succeed, so it’s useful to develop strategies to maximise productivity.
Suggesting that a busy person with numerous responsibilities could slow down as a productivity strategy might appear counterproductive. However, an article in Forbes magazine called ‘The Fastest Way to Be More Productive Is To Slow Down’ by Amy Blaschka declares that “busy does not equal productive”.
Being busy can feel like a badge of honour, but continually pressing your ‘nose to the grindstone’ can often leads to increased stress levels and eventually burnout. People suffering from burnout often need long periods of recovery time… which is clearly very unproductive!
Thinking strategically, slowing down and giving our bodies and minds adequate rest and time to process can improve productivity in the following ways:
- Increase in creativity
- Generate new ideas
- Better decision making
- Better communication
- Reduced stress
“It’s only when we slow down and give ourselves time to think, that we notice the difference between getting things done and getting the right things done.” – Grace Marshall, ProductiveMag.com
Steven McConnell writes for Business.com, and he says “the human brain is like any sophisticated computer. Sometimes it needs a reboot.” He goes on to explain that the brain requires ‘unplugging’ in order to rest and rejuvenate and the best way to unplug is to stop ‘doing’ and start ‘being’. For example, practicing mindfulness and present moment awareness is an excellent way of ‘being’.
Some ideas as to how to slow down and increase productivity:
- Don’t use technology for a period of time: take a break from screens and especially ‘fake relaxing’ (which is actually just distracting) like Netflix and social media
- Use calmness promoting technology: practice using apps like Calm or Headspace for meditation and present moment awareness
- Spend time outside: let the natural world calm you down
- Proactively schedule time for self-care and activities which bring you joy
Tim Ferriss, author and entrepreneur said, “Slow down and remember this: Most things make no difference. Being busy is a form of mental laziness — lazy thinking and indiscriminate action.”
Slowing down gives us the opportunity to be strategic in choosing what projects and tasks we prioritise, which leads to taking actions which have the most impact.
The team at SKCI are available to support you and your business, get in touch to find out more.