Episode #6: Slowing Down to Speed Up
Welcome to the Sixth episode of The Strategy Corner. In this episode I am going to share a counterintuitive strategy called “Slowing Down To Speed Up”.
You will learn the definition of “counterintuitive” and how I have used the strategy for over the last few years when dealing with clients, in my business, and personal life. This strategy is one that goes against the society we live in today where everything is getting done faster and quicker. We dive into the idea of taking 5 minutes for yourself to truly determine the best “next step” in order to speed up in your productivity and effectiveness. Come join me as we learn how to utilize the strategy of SLOWING DOWN TO SPEED UP in our personal and professional lives, LET’S TAKE ACTION!
Hello and welcome to episode number six of the Strategy Corner, where our goal is to get you to take action. I’m your host, Michelle Zink, the owner of Intentional Solutions Corp. Today’s strategy is the counterintuitive action of slowing down to speed up. This is an action that I learned about a few years ago from my coach, Theresa Campbell. Again, it’s a counterintuitive action of slowing down to speed up.
Now, when I first was introduced to this process, I had no clue what counterintuitive meant. So, I’m assuming you don’t know what it means either. So, I’m going to go ahead and share with you what Google says. It says the definition of counterintuitive means contrary to intuition or commonsense, but often nonetheless true. So, again, contrary to intuition or to commonsense, but often nonetheless true. So, when you actually read that again, slowing down to speed up. I say this idea is counterintuitive because when you come to face a task or project you need to complete, your mind tells you to run at full speed to get it done. But in actuality you could get things done much quicker and even with better quality if you slowed down, created an outline or to do list, and then move forward with the project.
This might sound simple, but most of us just want to get things done, or check things off our to do list. But does that mindset help us produce the best product for our customer? The best response to a customer complaint? Now, I know the people listening to this show are executives and business owners, so you have a lot of things on your plate. And so when you talk about your brain telling you to run at full speed, this happens all the time. I mean if you’re anything like me, every day I’m thinking I have all these things I need to get done, and how can I get these done quicker? Or how can I rush through this? But what if instead we slowed down, we took a deeper look and we investigated a solution?
You know, talking to a client a little bit longer instead of rushing to get it done might really help us in determining a better solution from them. I wanted to share some examples so you can get a better understanding of what I’m talking about. The first example is one with a client. When I work with clients and we are deciding on a specific project or thing they want to accomplish, we always slow down and get to the main goal they want to accomplish. So, as you know, when you’re brainstorming you come up with a lot of different ideas, but in the end in order to create a project you need to know what you want to accomplish in the end.
So, I get the client to slow down and really focus on what their main goal is to accomplish by doing X. Then, we talk through the specific to do items needed to complete this project, which is very important, we need to know what needs to get done. But the most important thing is we need to assign an owner. If no-one’s in charge of it, then it’s never going to get done. And then, finally, we put to do dates on there, because again, assigning an owner is important, but then knowing when they specifically need to get it done is also important.
By slowing down, we speed up by number one everyone knowing the objective and being on the same page. And number two, we know the dates and the individuals responsible so we have confidence that the project will be completed. It also helps whoever is the leader of this project to be able to follow up with individuals because they know who’s responsible for what.
Personally I utilize this technique also with creating outlines for my podcast. Just yesterday I had on my calendar to create two podcast outlines. I wasn’t feeling it for some reason, I didn’t want to do them, so instead of putting if off and not accomplishing what I set out to do, I took a few minutes to really think about what would serve my audience. How I wanted them, you guys, to feel. And with that, I was able to begin creating my podcast outlines. And instead of taking me one hour, I was able to cut that back to 45 minutes by slowing down to speed up.
So, as you can see with the personal example, it doesn’t mean when you’re not feeling things that you just don’t do things, because with the other podcast that I’ve shared about setting goals, putting objectives on your calendars, we want to do what we say we’re going to do. So, if we schedule it, we want to do it. But in reality, we’re not always going to feel it. So, this is one way that you could go ahead and slow down to speed up, to really get yourself in line and get yourself to realize that getting this done is a top priority, and then when you have it done you feel so much better.
So, finally I utilize this counterintuitive concept when I feel my mind racing. Have you ever felt this when you have 5,000 things on your mind you need to get done and you just don’t know what to do next? In those situations, instead of running, literally, with my brain, I do something totally different. I sit in silence for five minutes. Well, really five to ten minutes, and ask myself what I need to do next. Yes, instead of rushing to get things done, I do what doesn’t naturally fit as a next best thing and totally get in silence.
Then in silence I come clear on what I really need to do next. So, instead of spinning in chaos for the next 45 minutes, I actually take time to clear and thus create more and move faster to get it done. Again, this is going to sound weird to you if you’ve never heard this concept before, but I am telling you this is one of the concepts that I utilize on a weekly basis when I can feel myself getting a little bit out of control with all the to do items.
So, since I’ve been doing this now for the last couple of years, I’m going to go ahead and share with you what I’ve learned and how it’s helped me so far. What I’ve learned. When I first started playing with this idea, it was difficult and still can be difficult to do this. Why? Because in society and everywhere now we are being told to rush, to be busy. I don’t know if you guys have ever heard people say, “I’m so busy.” Well, busy, but I’m here to tell you that the amazing creations and productivity happen in the world of slowing down, slowing down to speed up. And you just need to try it.
I’ve learned that I just need to practice this. I’ve learned that when I’m feeling out of control, I just need to stop. I’ve learned that this activity of slowing down to speed up is one of the most important strategies that I have that can help me to accomplish more of what I want to get done. Now it’s your turn. Here are your calls to action this week. Number one, you want to pay attention and choose a time to play with this strategy when you feel stuck, not productive, unfocused and spinning.
Number two, you want to set your timer for five minutes and sit in silence asking yourself what is the next best thing for me to do? Number three, you want to write down what comes up for you for the next best thing. And number four, you want to go ahead and take action on that item, or those items.
So, when you ask yourself what is the best next thing for me to do, and you come up with more than one item, you then just need to rank those and really see which one is the next best step. And then you schedule all the rest of those on your calendar. The thing here is to utilize this strategy when you’re feeling overwhelmed, when you have so many things on your plate and you just don’t know what the next best thing to do is, because that happens to all of us. Again, we are business owners, we are executives, we have multiple things on our plate. And we have multiple people that we need to keep in charge of and who pull on our attention. So, a lot of times throughout the day and week it’s really hard to focus on what’s most important, and this strategy, slowing down to speed up, is a great one to practice and to play with during the week.
So, please, go to iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play and subscribe to the Strategy Corner. Also, go to my website, intentionalsolutionscorp.com, and signup to get my weekly blog post, which also has a link to the latest podcast. Until next time, remember, through action and growth progression happens. Let’s take action together. Thank you so much for tuning in today, and I look forward to talking with you next week.