In business we’ve come to expect immediately returned emails, phone calls, and text messages, thanks to technology. Technology enables us to communicate instantly, so the act of slowing down or downtime is rarely an option.
In fact, we are programmed to think that faster is better and leads to higher production, but that may not be the case. More work and less rest may actually be detrimental to our work and long-term productivity.
Slowing Down: How Easy is it?
Although it sounds simple, slowing down is not easy and immediate. It can be difficult, intimidating and uncomfortable. The process of slowing down needs to be strategic and intentional. Making intentional pauses and slowing ourselves down helps us to avoid making the same mistakes twice. This leads to higher levels of productivity, less stress and, more success.
Steps to Scheduling Downtime
A great step in strategically slowing down is to schedule downtime. Block a half hour in your calendar to go outside, go for a walk, grab a bite to eat, read a book, or listen to a podcast. Getting away from the minutia of the day even if it’s for a short period of time will help you to slow down your mind and thoughts.
There are also apps that work well in helping with downtime and disconnecting. Offtime or Unplugged are two apps used to schedule periods of automated airplane mode so that you can actually disconnect.
3 Benefits of Slowing Down & Taking a Break
When we do less we are actually able to do more. By slowing down we are able to achieve gains that will improve our productivity, progress, and our motivation.
1. First, our perspective is much clearer when we pause and evaluate/reevaluate. We then can give ourselves the opportunity to step out of the detail of our day and take a look at the big picture. There, our perspective on whether we are moving in the right direction and making the right decisions can be more obvious.
2. A second gain from slowing down is a renewed energy. Energy, focus, and motivation are three factors that are crucial to success in any business. When we slow down, we give our bodies the time they need to rest and re-energize, boosting resistance to illness. When energized we become agile in our responses to unexpected challenges, enhancing our ability to make better decisions.
3. Another gain in the slow down is being able to better harness the power of emotion. Emotions are a guide, and they help you take inventory of what’s happening in and around you, and how best to respond. Successful people take the time to feel and manage their emotions, and they don’t let them trigger bad behaviors or actions.
Today more than ever it is important to create time to rest, process thoughts and make measured decisions. By doing this you will have more time to think clear, plan more effective and think big.