I heard this wise advice at a time management seminar a few years ago. The speaker was a wife, mother of two, a speaker, a writer, and a successful 7-figure entrepreneur. Needless to say, she is a very busy woman and she told us a story I’ll never forget.
There was a man she knew who was taking a spin class at his local gym. The man was doing his best and pedaling really hard on his bike. It was a tough class and they were right in the middle of “climbing hills”. The instructor looked over at him and saw that he was really struggling. The man’s face was red from exertion, his shoulders were tense, and his hands were clenched tightly to the handlebars.
The instructor got off his bike and walked over to the struggling man and asked him if he was okay. The man said, “Yes, I’m fine, I’m just trying to go faster.” The instructor said, “Slow down to go faster.” The instructor then encouraged him to loosen his grip, relax his shoulders, and take a deep breath. He did as he was told and guess what happened? He went faster!
How many times have you caught yourself trying to do more in a day, yet only feeling less productive?
What then often happens is you don’t feel productive so you assume you need to try even harder, just like the man in the spin class. After days, weeks, months, or even years of this “sheer brute force” type of approach to your work, you are soon so worn out that you’re running on fumes. So then you try even harder to get more done, but you are even less productive than ever. Welcome to the law of diminishing returns.
What does this have to do with your health and well-being? Well, everything.
The reality is that we women are often pulled in so many directions at work, at home, and in our relationships. We have long “to-do lists”. We have to get this thing done and that thing done. On top of everything, we desire to get fit, feel good, eat healthy, and have more energy.
If you want to not only grow your business, but look, feel, and perform at your best in your 50s, the first step is to trust that slowing down will help you go faster, be more productive, and of course, most important of all, enjoy and savor every precious minute of your short life. Then, schedule some time to receive – whatever that means to you. Perhaps it’s booking a massage, sipping coffee or tea with an enjoyable book (that’s not work-related!), or book yourself a local (or not so local) hotel room for a day or a weekend (and don’t take any work with you). The list can go on and on. What sounds good to you?
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