How Slowing Down Helped Me Achieve More

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slowing down, yoga, meditation, relaxing, work tips, life advice, success, how to achieve more

In 2015, I decided to focus on having more of a work-life balance. It was a big change for me and like many big changes, it was brought on by a major life event. I realized that while I focused so hard on achieving success in my career, I was letting more important things fall by the wayside–like my family, friends, and hobbies. I took a look in the mirror and decided it was time to make a change for the better. It’s something I consciously work on every day and find myself getting better and better at. Today I had the realization of what the key difference I made was: I slowed down.

You might be thinking, “well, that would be great if I had 500 hours in a day!” And that’s how I used to think too. But the truth is, all that stuff you’re cramming into your day probably isn’t as important as you’d like to think it is. And I’m about to drop another major truth bomb: you don’t need more time in your day to slow down and still get the same amount of work done (if not more!).

For a long time, I felt like I was going going going nonstop – and I was. Being that too-busy-for-you businesswoman is not a good look. When it comes down to it, people are always more important than work or things. Success should be measured in happiness and personal fulfillment instead of money in the bank or landing that promotion. Of course success in work is great too, but when you’re going too fast, it loses value and can suck the happiness away. And that’s what was happening to me for a long time.

slowing down, yoga, meditation, relaxing, work tips, life advice, success, how to achieve more

Instead of rushing to make coffee and immediately start answering emails in the morning, I take a second to enjoy my favorite drink and think about my life, my family and my friends. Then I do a little something for me: I practice my Spanish with Duolingo. It’s something I’d consider a hobby and hopefully one day I’ll be able to say I’m bilingual.

Then, keeping with that same slow pace, I check my emails, flag the important ones, answer the more important ones and then close the browser. Now I’m ready for some more me time: yoga. I do yoga at home thanks to YouTube (currently loving Yoga with Adriene’s 30-day challenge!). After 30 minutes I’m done. At this point, I’ve been up for an hour or less and I feel more refreshed and fulfilled than I ever did when I was frantically trying to get things done. Instead of being burnt out by 10am, I’m ready to tackle my to-do list. I get through those flagged emails and take a break when I feel like I need to. The quality of my work is better when I don’t feel frazzled. I don’t work through meals anymore. Instead, I enjoy them as I talk with a friend or my family.

slowing down, yoga, meditation, relaxing, work tips, life advice, success, how to achieve more

And at the end of the day, I find myself done with my to-do list earlier than my nonstop work days. Keeping with this relaxed pace isn’t always easy and I don’t always stick to it, but on the days that I do, I’ve found that I get so much more done. I don’t feel overworked anymore and if something doesn’t get done, it will be ok and I will survive. There’s always tomorrow.

How do you achieve more?

Photos by Johnny Cheng.