How to Slow Down and Achieve More in Less Time

Slow down and count your blessings

How to Slow Down and Achieve More in Less TimeIn todays, fast paced, high tech environment, we’re all expected to achieve more in less time and as a result, more and more people find themselves feeling stressed and overwhelmed, and maybe feel pressured or perhaps put pressure on themselves to do more and more.

Are you one of them?

Over the last few days, even The Time Doctor has got it wrong. Today my body informed that I’ve been doing too much. Letting me know that I haven’t made the progress I thought I had, following my three heart attacks and stroke. It told me that today was a day to slow down, this caused a very brief woe is me moment, until I gave myself a good talking to. I was assisted in this process, by Wendy (my awesome wife), who quiet rightly reminded that I have been through a traumatic experience, and although I might want it to be fixed and sorted, it’s going to take time. It got me thinking and hence this blog.

Are you pushing yourself too hard. Being in a constant rush lowers your energy levels and deprives you of satisfaction. Do you really achieve more in less time, or are you just ticking off boxes on your task list rather than engaging in meaningful activities?

It’s time to genuinely slow down. Consider these 3 steps the next time you’re straining to hurry up, and you will achieve more in less time whilst feeling less stressed and overwhelmed

Do Less

1. Set priorities. Figure out your definition of success. Devote as much time and energy as possible to the activities that matter to you. Cut back on making commitments that are irrelevant to your goals. Learn to tactfully say no to distractions.
2. Budget your time. Be realistic about what you can and can’t accomplish in a single day. If you’re frequently falling behind schedule, track how much time some of your routine tasks really take. Block out your time and give yourself a buffer between engagements.
3. Adjust your standards. Know when good enough is acceptable. Maybe you want to aim for an A plus when it comes to parenting, but you can live with a B minus on washing your car.

Be Mindful

1. Plan your day. Know where your time is going. Act deliberately instead of drifting from one external demand to the next.
2. Live in the present. Give your full attention to what you’re currently doing. Silence your phone and resist the urge to check for messages. Notice your surroundings and savor your experiences.
3. Remember your purpose. Stir up your enthusiasm by remembering the reasoning behind your choices. Does your job enable you to help others? Do you take pleasure in volunteering for a good cause or spending time with friends?
4. Exercise. A fit body supports a strong mind. Keep time in your schedule to exercise regularly. Incorporate more physical activity into your day. You’ll feel more lively and alert.
5. Rest and relax. A few minutes of meditation, stretching, or repeating affirmations can help you pace yourself. Learn to be comfortable with taking a break.

Ask for help

1. Divide chores. Sharing household responsibilities is good for your marriage and your children. Talk with your partner about how you can work as a team to complement each other’s strengths. Praise your kids for taking on age-appropriate chores. Even small children can set the table or put away their toys.
2. Be a good neighbour. Why not arrange with your neighbours to take it in turns to mow the front lawns, join a neighbourhood committee or browse for apps that help busy neighbours support each other.
3. Consult an expert. You may want to hire a professional who can clean your house or fix your dish washer faster than you can. If you prefer doing things yourself, you can still seek advice on time-saving tips and techniques.
4. Follow up. Maybe you already have family and friends who’ve offered to assist you when you need a little help. Accept their generosity instead of clinging to your pride or feeling like you have to do it all on your own. Be prepared to return the favor.
5. Be specific. Wherever you turn for help, it pays to be precise. Let others know exactly what you need done.

Slow down and achieve more in less time. When you’re feeling under pressure, change your strategy instead of speeding up. Take a few deep breaths and count your blessings. Your to-do list will look less daunting, and you’ll be more productive.

Let me know what you Think

You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Till Next Time
Mike Gardner is The Time Doctor

Mike Gardner aka ‘The Time Doctor’ and is highly regarded as one of the UK’s leading Time Management and productivity specialists. As well as being regularly featured in both online and off-line media outlets around the world, he is the author of the best selling time management book, Business Owners: Your Family Misses You. He regularly speaks on topics that are congruent with his mission of helping small business owners, entrepreneurs and independent professionals to be incredibly productive, whilst still balancing their business and family commitments in a way that enables them to feel fulfilled and guilt-free. He is an avid Aston Villa fan, a Dad to Neil & Emma, a hubby to Wendy and in his role as an Officer with the reserve forces, he has completed operational tours of Iraq and Afghanistan.

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20 thoughts on “How to Slow Down and Achieve More in Less Time

  1. This is exactly what I find in my life as well. Working too much is, funny enough, one of my struggles with productivity. Instead of working less and pushing hard during that time period, I sometimes work for hours and hours on end… without actually getting much done.

    I’m at the point where I schedule my work time around high-lifetime-value activities such as meditation and exercise. This leaves less time for work and helps me not feel too overwhelmed.

    Working less, but better is certainly the way to go if you ask me!
    Nils recently posted…14 Ways to Boost Your Productivity – Backed by ScienceMy Profile

  2. Great tips. I have a bad habit of overdoing things. I used to have one day a month or so where my body would just give up and make me ill for 24 hours just so I’d rest. Now I make sure I take time for myself.

  3. Some great pointers there Mike, I’m not sure about adjusting my standards as /i will always strive to be the best I can be however re prioritising workloads often help and what we think is important often isnt so .

    • Thanks Kevin, i’m not suggesting we lower our standards, more that we need to appreciate that sometimes good is good enougn, perfectionism can lead to procrastination

  4. Thanks for sharing your experience Mike. No matter what our mind set is or how much we want to achieve, when rest needs to be our priority our physical body will let us know and try to bring us back into balance. Maybe ‘rest’ should be on the ‘to do’ list, then it might be easier to accept as a worthwhile achievement.

  5. I liked the ideas you presented. Personally, I often need to break down my day by hours rather than what I want to accomplish in an entire day. An entire day seems to daunting to me. So, If I can accomplish one thing in an hour or two hours or whatever, then I feel as though I have truly accomplished something. Sometimes that is enough.

    • You are so right Julie, it just needs to be a system that works for you, and as long as you can see yourself making progress, that as you say can be enough

  6. Serendipity at its best I was sat here thinking I’m a bit tired and I’ve still got lots to do.
    Instead I will breathe and rest… After I have cleaned the kitchen and wrote a blog of course 🙂
    elaine recently posted…Walk the TalkMy Profile

  7. Live in the present – rings a bell Mike.
    Sorry but glad you had a ‘take a slow day’. Not only does it show you are human after all (not superman!) but gave us these great points.
    Thanks Mike!