Slowing down to Speed up

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Writing coaching often counsel new authors to write what they know. Well, I just wanted to tell you that for these past three weeks, I’ve been writing about topics directly affecting me in my daily life at the present time. I’m hopeful it makes for better writing. After talking about being overwhelmed and how pressure affects us, I think it would be useful to talk about what to do about it. This week, I’m thinking about the power of slowing down to speed up.

Pressure affects me by causing me to speed up. Everything moves faster. My normal tendency to task-switch very quickly goes into turbo speed. Instead of having three or four things that I’m working on, jumping back and forth, I have 18 things. (I wish I was kidding.)

The problem comes when all those damned balls simply won’t stay in the air.

One by one, I drop them.

I promise to send a coaching client a resource piece. My brain is jumping around so quickly that I have already forgotten about it 15 seconds later when our call ends.

I miss deadlines for providing my VAs with documents they need.

I completely forget errands.

Simple yet Effective

The concept of slowing down to speed up does not feel natural to me at all. It feels counterintuitive, in fact. And that’s why I have to do it. Here’s how.

  • At the end of a coaching call, I review any notes I’ve jotted down about what I need to send my client, if applicable. If I’m not sure, I ask. Before I close that client’s file, I send the resource.
  • I take my own advice and schedule blocks of time in my calendar where I’m not accessible. I list an appropriate number of specific tasks to complete during each block.
  • I recognize when I’m feeling the most scattered and make myself stop for a moment. I do a breathing exercise. I get grounded. I recognize the time limits I have and adjust what I can get done in that time.
  • I ask for help. A lot. I ask my VAs to keep me honest. I ask them to remind me of things and hold me accountable for meeting our agreed deadlines. I ask them to take on things I thought I could do myself but have run out of time.

As usual, none of this stuff is rocket science. The beauty and effectiveness of it is in its simplicity. Making myself slow the F down, take a breath, reevaluate things, and then move forward is simple and powerful. It keeps me sane. And really does help me speed up.


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