You see as a time coach who lives out what she teaches, I’m extremely conscious of how I invest my time.
Overall, that’s a wonderful attribute and allows me to live a very peaceful, productive life where I feel good about what I’m choosing to do and to not do.
But sometimes–particularly when I’m venturing into new territory–it can take longer to complete activities than estimated or longer to see results than hoped.
My first gut reaction is to feel frustrated by the situation and to start to try to push through things faster in an effort to get on to the other items that await my attention…
But, I’ve found that following this natural impulse can actually impede my ability to work effectively & leads to mounting anxiety.
So, I’ve developed another method of responding when activities start to take longer than expected:
Here’s my Strategic Slow Down Strategy:
- When I start to sense mounting frustration, I physically step away from whatever I’m doing. (My typical red flags are noticing that I’m getting easily annoyed by little things or feeling tension in my back.)
- Then I ask myself: What’s going on right now? This gives me the opportunity to evaluate the situation and determine exactly what about it is causing me stress.
- Next, I evaluate possible next steps: Should I stop working on the project? Should I get help? Should I continue but set some type of time limit?
- After that, I look over the rest of my plan for the day and the week and adjust my priorities and expectations based on the current reality.
- Finally, I come back to my work with an attitude of peace and trust… that everything is going to work out as it should and when it should. I don’t need to force anything to happen. (Sometimes it helps to turn on some relaxing classical music to also help calm my thoughts.)
This Strategic Slow Down Strategy can also allow you to override your natural reaction and to experience the peace that comes with trusting everything will work out in the end.
About Real Life E®
Elizabeth Grace Saunders is the founder and CEO of Real Life E® a time coaching and training company that empowers individuals who feel guilty, overwhelmed and frustrated to feel peaceful, confident and accomplished. She is an expert on achieving more success with less stress. Real Life E® also increases employee productivity, satisfaction and work/life balance through coaching and training programs.
McGraw Hill published her first book The 3 Secrets to Effective Time Investment: How to Achieve More Success with Less Stress. Harvard Business Review recently published her second book How to Invest Your Time Like Money. Elizabeth contributes to blogs like Lifehacker, Harvard Business Review, Forbes, and the 99U blog on productivity for creative professionals and has appeared on CBS, ABC, NBC, and Fox.