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The business tortoise or the hare – Slowing down to speed up

I move at a fast pace. Always have. It’s how I’m wired. Even now (Boxing Day) when I have nothing urgent that really needs to be done, I have a to-do list of stuff I want to get done.

I always feel the pull of having to move forward. Keep going, one step at a time. Or usually at a hundred miles an hour which is more my style.

But having read a couple of business books so far in my holiday break and while on my self-imposed 5-day social media detox I’m beginning to think I’ve got it all wrong.

I know busy doesn’t mean productive. But I know for me, that being idle for long periods of time doesn’t sit well or feel good. Yes, I’m one of those people who can’t sit through a movie without picking up my phone.

Maybe, just maybe there is something to this tortoise and hare theory. You know, slow and steady wins the race. When I look at how much I try to get done in a day (and often fail) I think I’ve got it all wrong. I’m trying to do too much! I need to slow down to speed up.

Technology has trained us to be like that. Our digital world reinforces the fact that we can have something in seconds. And we wonder why we have so many mental health issues showing up in the corporate world…

Remember back to the turn of the century as 2000 was approaching and we had all these promises of reduced work hours because technology would help us do our job faster? We were told we would have these computers and robots that would allow us to do our job faster, therefore, Giving us more leisure time.

Well, we got that technology, but we never got the reduced work hours or increased leisure time. Instead, we got increased work hours as we jammed more and more into our day and were more connected and available than ever before.

Thanks, Steve Jobs for keeping us connected to our fancy new iPhones 24/7 where our phone becomes a multi-media station that replaced every other piece of equipment we might’ve previously needed. But it also replaced the downtime we previously had too.

Add to this addiction, the adrenalin rush we get from social media, an increasing number of apps to increase our productivity and save us time and what do you have? Work obsessed, adrenalin driven people who think they have failed if they haven’t gotten through their totally unrealistic to-do list, reached super success status by the age of 27 and constantly compare and measure themselves against others. Everyone around them appears to be better, faster, more successful, savvier, sexier, smarter…. the list goes on.

It’s time to slow down in order to speed up. It’s time to rethink the way we work. For me, 2020 is going to be more focused on monthly milestones and not focused and too many projects at once. (That’s doomed to failure). Reflection has allowed me to understand that too many half-done projects or ideas are doomed to be a failure.

This year I will banish multitasking from my vocabulary. I will do one task at a time, starting the day with the most important ones first.

One of my fave phrases, when I’m talking to be clients who are overwhelmed with digital, is to breath and reboot. So, I’m going to finally take some of my own advice.

This year is going to be about breathing and rebooting. Everyday. Every week. Every month.

It’s time to start being smarter with this technology and putting emphasis on the tasks we need to actually move forward at a more reasonable pace.

We’re only competing with ourselves. And we’re not doing a good job of it if we are filling our day with tasks on a list.

2020 my mantras are going to be

  • less is more.
  • Slow down to seed up
  • Focus on one task or project at a time

What’s your focus for 2020? Where do you need to make changes to move you forward? Productivity? Marketing? Learning? Changing habits?

The new year is the opportunity you have to make a positive change in your business. You just need to make a decision to do that.


Tanya Williams Bio