When your workload demands that you speed up - CALM DOWN!
If there’s one common denominator among all the mid-career professional women I meet, it’s that they’re busy.
They’re not sitting at their desks twiddling their thumbs …
They’re running from meeting to meeting, making and taking calls, sending email after email and working through their never ending to-do lists.
They’re in constant GO mode and many of them are feeling stressed out and overwhelmed because of it.
When your work days are busy and your to-do list is filled to the brim, it can seem like the only logical solution is to work more quickly so you can get more done.
But this couldn’t be further from the truth.
In actual fact, your best work and your greatest productivity potential happens when you are calm, and when you slow down.
Getting yourself into a calm state leads to:
- A greater ability to focus
- Less mistakes and higher quality work (therefore, more likelihood of getting a promotion!)
- An ability to better cope with stressful situations
- More job satisfaction.
Now I know what you’re wondering …
Jane, how can I find a sense of calm when I’m in the thick of it, have tasks piling up and am feeling overwhelmed?
Here’s what I suggest:
1. Create a calm start to your day
Now I know this may sound impossible, particularly if you’re a busy Mum…. but stay with me.
I know it’s easy (and common!) to instantly start thinking about work the moment you wake up… or worse, you feel compelled to log to check emails.
When you have lots on your plate, this makes sense.
But instead of aiding you, constantly being ‘switched on’ and ‘sped up’ is doing you, and your work performance, more harm than good.
Inviting calm into your first waking moments (or longer if you can!) can completely shift your whole day.
You don’t have to do anything extravagant – even just a cup of coffee in silence, a walk around the block or a few pages of a great book can fill you with a sense of calm that will aid you when you sit down to work.
What one small thing can you introduce into your morning routine that would help you start your day more calmly?
2. Step away from your desk during the day
Stopping to take a lunch break can feel like a luxury when you’re busy. But stepping away from work actually has a funny way of sparking creativity, inviting in more clarity and aiding productivity.
As shared in this article, “Taking breaks, even micro ones, can help to recharge one’s brain, relieve stress [and] increase energy levels”.
Breaking away from your computer and to-do list takes commitment, especially if you’re busy, but I encourage you to give it a go and get curious about how it impacts your productivity and wellbeing!
3. Shift your mindset
Have you ever had thoughts like “I have no choice but to work harder and faster” and “I’ll never get all this done”?
Sadly these thoughts do little other than make you feel more stressed and overwhelmed.
When thoughts like this pop up, try and replace them with alternatives like:
“I’m only one person. I’ll get as much done as I can, but I will respect my limits. Tomorrow is a new day.”
“When I stay calm, my productivity increases. I know that looking after myself aids my work performance.”
Your mindset is powerful and simply shifting how you perceive and approach situations can have a huge impact on the quality of your work and how you feel.
Learning how to slow down and invite calm into your busy day takes practice and patience (you’re essentially learning a new skill, after all!)
If you’d like a helping hand learning how to work differently, I invite you to a free Facebook community Leading Ladies – a private space to help you breakthrough to your next level of leadership, impact and recognition, without you having to work harder or sell your soul.