How often do you get the chance to really slow down? And invest the time to take care of all those little but important things on your “to do” list? What is the purpose of a time out in sports? Why do we stop action and take a break at half time or after a period?
The importance of time outs allows the team to get re-focused on the original game plan or if too many variables have changed to scrap the game plan altogether and work on a better plan to win the game.
I’m a big advocate of slowing things down enough to see and understand how all the parts work and move together. How else could you figure out how an engine runs unless you could slow down the moving parts and have a look at what processes are happening and in what sequence.
Even if you could see inside an engine and watch what happens all you would see is a small explosion coming from the area near the spark plug which would appear to push the piston down while the other moves up to another similar explosion.
Unless you were able to record it and watch in slow motion you would never be able to figure out how the gas and air come into the chamber coupled with a spark to create the mini explosion.
Our personal and business lives are the same. Often times they are moving so fast that we can’t seem to grasp what’s significant and what’s trivial.
Some lives and industries are more volatile than others but even the good ‘ol oil industry has seen massive changes in a very short period of time. Yahoo, one of the internets first darlings is now on the chopping block. Gaming company Zynga (creator of farmville and Founded in 2007) was once worth over 20 billion and is now valued at just over 2 Billion. What happened? A few bad acquisitions, too much reliance of facebook and not noticing how quickly their users were aborting to other games.
Your business could suffer a similar fate and your life might pass you by if you don’t learn to slow things down and pay better attention. In fact, why not pause now and take a deeper look at your daily activities.
What do you mostly do on a daily basis that you feel is important and is clearly adding value to both your business and your life? In contrast, what are the busy things you’re habitually doing that might be steeling your attention away from the things that matter most?
As you learn to slow down and take a breather you will start to notice more of what’s important to your business and your life. The two are intimately intertwined wether you like it or not. As well your priorities will change as you get older, get married and possibly have children.
I found that when I started carving out some early morning alone time and the same in the evening I was able to slow down the moving parts of the day and analyze my decisions, actions and disruptions.
I started to understand my personality and behaviours better. I could see where my weaknesses were, both in my business and personal life.
I started to notice that I could change the course of my day and ultimately reduce my stress and improve my decisions by taking my mini thought breaks while my day was operating at full steam.
The changes were subtle but the long term outcomes were dramatically better.
Slow down and enjoy life. It’s not only the scenery you miss by going too fast – you also miss the sense of where you are going and why.
I found I could see a helluva lot more from a higher vantage point. By slowing things down, I could understand more how the moving parts were related to one another and I was able to start speeding up the results I wanted.
It’s as though I stopped trying to make things happen and started to allow the things I wanted to show up.
One of the best things you can do for your business and your life is to focus more time and energy on becoming ” A Maker” rather than just “A Doer.”