Have you ever wondered how some people manage to have it all while you’re struggling to keep up and feeling exhausted at the end of your day? The answer is to slow down, so that you can speed up.
Society has taught us that to be successful, we need to be out in the world accomplishing, achieving, and acquiring during every moment of our waking day. Whether you learned it from your parents or your peers, this is likely a pattern you’re familiar with and it’s at the core of today’s epidemic of overwhelm, exhaustion, and burnout. Are you ready to break the mold?
Part One: Being Mindful With Yourself
- Get Restful Sleep
An evening wind down routine is essential to promoting rest and restoration. Disconnect from the busyness of your day. Try turning off the television by 8 p.m., dimming the lights or turning off the blue light on your phones and devices. Run a hot bath, do some light reading or journaling. Using essential oils to calm your mind, playing some chill music, and getting to bed with lights out by 10:30 p.m. will help you ease into a nice restful state of sleep.
- Rise Early
“The early bird gets the worm” -and the early riser gets clarity of mind. The early morning hours, before the rest of the world is awake, are some of the most peaceful hours in the day. Spend this time doing contemplative practices like prayer, envisioning your goals, and connecting more deeply with your purpose. Setting your alarm for between 5-6am and washing the sleep away leaves you time to get quiet before the noise of the day sets in.
Committing to spend 20 minutes with your breath each day, whether that’s mediation or another form of mindfulness practice will help you develop and cultivate a greater level of self-awareness. Awareness is critical for getting out of your mind and into the present moment. Taking time to sit in stillness and silence each day connects you more deeply to who you truly are—outside of your positions and possessions—and shines a light on what’s truly important to you.
- Get Physical Exercise
Getting the body moving increases your circulation and does wonders for improving your mood, spiking energy levels, and even combating many common health issues.
- Spend Time In Nature
Find time each day to connect with nature in whatever way you’re able, and begin to notice the calming effects it has on you throughout the rest of your day.
Part TWO: Being Mindful With Your Business
- Eliminate Distractions
Be intentional in your choices so that you do things the right way rather than just try to complete them as quickly as possible. All the little things you figure you can — or want to — get done in a hurry can distract you from the underlying journey. Take care not to create bigger distractions, such as taking on tasks or projects that might deviate from your overall goals.
- Choose Opportunities Wisely
Be opportunistic about what you’ve learned in practice rather than forcing yourself into spaces that aren’t the right fit. For example, taking on clients outside of your practice area when you’re already busy, then becoming frazzled when you end up devoting disproportionate amounts of energy towards them. By sticking to and building on what you know, rather than attempting to expand at the wrong times, you can avoid creating an artificial need to go fast.
- Focus on Quality, Not Quantity
Resist the urge to bring on new clientele just because you can or the money looks good. Not all money is good money. Quality clients generate more long-term revenue and better align with your long-term goals. Moving slower doesn’t mean turning down revenue but rather being more purposeful to generate that revenue.
Streamline processes and technology and develop an automated workflow for you and/or your team. Doing so will free your team to pursue the right opportunities and focus on what’s more important than the busywork.
- Run because you can not because you need to
Running and rushing may feel like the same thing, but businesses and business professionals that can distinguish the difference between them — and the difference is big! — can better zero in on their goals. Rushing implies desperation. If you are hurrying home, you are trying to get there as fast as possible, drifting through stop signs and ignoring yellow lights, because the destination is the only thing that’s important.
Running retains urgency, but with control and intention. Rushing through a stop sign is inherently dangerous, and by doing so you risk never reaching your destination. You can progress quickly, but you should recognize there will be times when it’s better to slow down and readjust your speed.
When making important decisions, walking is the best choice because it gives you time to consider every option and every angle. When you are ready to execute the decision you’ve walked to make, you can and often should run. Again, you aren’t rushing the action, but rather approaching it with enthusiasm.
For inspiration, motivation and outside-the-box ideas for living a healthy and happy remote work life follow me:
Instagram @SahmraStevensonEsq or