Iklan Berbayar

Rabu, 21 Mei 2014

The 20 seconds that really don't matter

We have a habit of being impatient in life. Crossing roads before the little man turns green, wanting our lift to go express and avoid the hassle of stopping at other floors and wondering why in the hell we can't get our coffee now instead of standing in this stupid queue... Don't people know I have somewhere to be??

Today, it seems like we get what we want faster than ever before. The world is transparent. Information travels at a scarily fast pace. We're bombarded by emails, traditional news, Tweets, blogs and more. Your personal life is intertwined with your business life so switching off is becoming harder. The lines are increasingly blurred.
What much of this leads to is your brain racing at a million miles an hour. It's quite common for me to lie down at the end of a long day and begin re-living some of the key events of the day and even starting to think about what's ahead. And more often than not, that leads to a restless night's sleep and an unhappy girlfriend the next morning.

So why add fuel to the fire of an already inferno-like thought process? How do you slow things down?
There are a number of thoughts out there on how to do it and ultimately it will be a mix of different tactics that might work for you. Justin Babet, CEO of JobAdvisor had a look at ways you can regain the focus you've lost. In another post on LinkedIn, Tim Otis talked about his own personal journey in putting on the brakes.

For me, slowing down has been so incredibly powerful in helping me control my thinking (and indeed my day and week) and that all starts in the morning; taking a small and simple step to keep my pace in check and mind relaxed and open.

The idea actually came from a yearly de-brief session organised by a very inspirational woman I work for. We heard from a great leader about how he had trained himself to wait for the little man to turn green before crossing the road on his way to work. Avoiding J-walking and maybe waiting another 20 seconds before continuing his journey.

There's a lot to learn in that.

The 20 seconds you stand to save by being impatient really don't matter. In fact, if you think about the times you've done something similar today - maybe it was crossing the road before the lights changed or having an imaginary race with someone to the lift - there's probably little you actually achieved in the time you saved. Instead, that little event and change to your process has worked you up, even if it's on a subconscious level. You may have become irrritated or disrupted a calm period in your thought process because you were too focused on the little victory scored by throwing caution to the wind and crossing a dangerous intersection.

In today's world where everything moves so fast, taking the time to slow ourselves down, even if it is for 20 seconds, can do amazing things for our overall wellbeing. Just ask yourself - what does that 20 seconds do for me? Will it secure my favourite bowl in the office kitchen for my cereal or allow me to continue my thoughts around a party I'm planning for my best friend or a cool business idea I had.

It's amazing how when you start your day calmer, when you remove the negative tension caused by the irrational rushing we create, how much more centred you are for the day ahead. I've found myself smile more, come in with a more positive energy and an associated "Good morning!" to my team, all because the 20 seconds have helped me slow down, keep me calm and my mind open.

So next time you're looking at the red man, ask yourself if that 20 seconds really matters. Of course, to balance the argument some would say the 20 seconds is critical and would reference Sliding Doors with Gwyneth Paltrow. But then that's a movie and we're talking about you.
What's helped you slow down and stay focused? Would love to know your thoughts.


Tiada ulasan: