5 ways to slow down (and get more done)

February 11 2016

In primary school we learn the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. Efficiency is rewarded, and the fastest children are given prizes. As we age, schedules become packed with activities, and to-do lists deepen along with wrinkles on our brow. Responsibilities increase, time is limited, and dreams once held dear are pushed to the back burner.

Juggling tasks ultimately leads to a late deadline or slipped chore or even worse, a slighted close friend or forgotten loved one. It’s a tricky scale to balance — one that requires planning, constant evaluation, dependable relationships and support.

It is possible to slow down and delegate, but you have to make a commitment to stop doing everything at once. Magic happens when you do. You’ll feel more alive, have more energy and become re-committed to your work.

1. Evaluate – Consider what must be done and identify what should claim the top spot on your priority list. It can be helpful to separate goals according to time frame: day, week, month, semi-annual, annual.

2. Make a list – Write down what needs to be accomplished today. Looming deadlines should also be noted.

3. Delegate – Handoff tasks that don’t require your personal energy or presence. Look for shortcuts that allow you to focus on what’s really important.

4. Reassess – Take a moment to review what you’ve classified as important/should/must.

5. Self-prioritize – It’s no use pleasing everyone else if your own needs aren’t met. Be sure your tank is full, if not overflowing, and address those around you after you’ve taken care of yourself.