Are you one of those employees who sits on their phone or iPad checking emails in meetings, and can be on a call and writing an email at the same time? Do you eat lunch at your desk in one hand, whilst planning campaigns with the other? Do you text and drive?
As mothers, we love multi-tasking. It’s something that’s inherent in our DNA and something we often boast about. When I have interviewed people in the past, so many women would tell me that they are strong ‘multi-taskers’. Now don’t get me wrong, it is a strong skillset, but there is a time and place for multi-tasking.
Women are always doing something because we find it hard to know when to stop. What we need to get better at is trying to do one thing at a time. Doing one thing and doing it really well. There is no doubt that when you’re 100 per cent focused, the result is higher quality, you probably complete it faster, are less stressed and end your day happier because you achieved something.
We hear from women all the time about never having enough hours and their life being out of control. And the hours you do have, you are trying to complete a million things at once. Stop. Breathe. And slow down.
I personally was always so stressed at nights. Especially before bedtime. Admittedly, I walked around non-stop with my phone and my head was in three places at once. Not a very relaxing wind down strategy before bed. Friends of ours had a no-phone policy so we decided to give it a go. Instead, we sat down on the floor with the kids and played. We coloured-in, we built castles and we laughed. Everything felt different and suddenly our kids’ behaviour changed.
Here are some tips for you at work and home to help try and bring a new slower speed into your life.
- Be strict with your emails. If you have a large inbox and spend most of your day in and out of meetings, try blocking an hour in the morning and an hour in the afternoon to just focus totally on emails.
- Be strict with your meetings. Try the 45-minute rule. This cuts out the chatter at the beginning and forces you to be present. You also know you have 15 minutes at the end to check emails or return calls before your next meeting. (If you want to be really strict, try for a 30-minute meeting rule or try a stand-up instead!)
- Be strict with your top three. Write down in the morning the three things you must complete that day. Schedule time for these and focus 100 per cent on them. (Read our article ‘The power of three’).
- Phones are massive time wasters: Try having a no-phone policy between 6 and 7PM. In that time, make sure it’s all about the kids—get down at their level and play.
- Be strict with ‘me’ time: Find 10 minutes each day for just yourself and nothing more. And no, we don’t mean flicking between Instagram and Facebook.
- Don’t watch Netflix or be on your phone constantly. Replace it with some quality partner time on the couch.
Slowing down can be really tough because so many of us are hard-wired this way. It takes time to make this part of your day, but start with one or two of the above and we have no doubt you’ll see the benefits immediately.
Written by Jodi Geddes, Co-founder of Circle In.