As managers we always want to find ways to use our manager skills to get more things done. Our to-do lists just seem to keep getting longer and people are always asking us to accomplish more things in less time. Our bosses are willing to send us to manager training where we’ll learn how to look like we are working hard even if we may not be producing as much as we should be. Managers need to be careful and stop confusing productivity with getting results. Perhaps what we really should be doing is looking at how we can use “slowness” to do a better job of accomplishing what we need to get done.
Increase Your Clarity
So, if moving faster is not the answer, then what should we be doing? If we can find a way to slow things down then we may have found the difference between being successful and being a failure. It turns out that studies have shown that slowing down can build the foundation for our success.
One of the most important things that managers need to realize is that we may be working very, very hard to move ourselves in the wrong direction. All too often managers find that all that work that they’ve put into their jobs got them to a place that they really didn’t want to go. When we look at a gerbil in cage running on its wheel do we ever wonder if it knows that it’s not getting anywhere? As a manager you need to learn how to slow down and allow clarity to enter into your life. You need to be able to keep your eyes on where you really want to go and not just keep moving forward without knowing where you want to go.
How can you make this happen? What you are going to have to start to do is to make the time each week to “check in” with yourself. Use this time to think about what your intentions are and take a look at the challenges or opportunities that are showing up in front of you. Spend time thinking about what’s working, what isn’t working, and where you can focus your energy next week. Yes, this will slow you down; however, you’ll know that you are on the right path.
Your Health Is Critical To Your Success
How do you feel right now? Are you at the top of your game? Are you sleeping at night? Eating the right foods? If you’ve answered negatively to any of these questions then you are starting to set yourself up for failure. If you can’t perform at your best, you won’t be successful.
You need to understand that if you want to be successful, then you are going to have start to take care of yourself. This means taking care of your body, your mind, and yes, even your spirit. How can you go about doing this? Simple: each day you need to find the time to meditate, exercise, cook a healthy meal, and write down what is running through your head.
I can already hear some of you starting to complain about this. “I don’t have enough time in my day to do those things”. Umm, yes you do – you have the same amount of time in your day that the rest of us have. Here’s an interesting question for you: how much time do you spend on social media each day? Studies have shown that most us are spending 53 minutes each day on Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, LinkedIn, etc. Successful famous people take the time to slow down each day, you can to.
Learn To Use Your Emotions
If you are like me, you generally think that your emotions just seem to keep getting in the way. It turns out that I’ve been wrong about this all along. Our emotions are actually quite important. Emotions serve as a guide for us. They allow us to understand how we feel about things that are currently going on both outside and inside of us. Our emotions tell us how we want to respond to all of these things. Managers who want to be successful have to learn how to manage their emotions so that they don’t let them trigger bad behaviors or actions.
What we need to do is to learn how to slow things down. This will allow us to start to feel our emotions and this will allow us to describe to ourselves what we are feeling. Once we are able to do this, we can then allow our emotions to start to guide us and we’ll be able to use them to respond in the correct way to the situations that we find ourselves in and do a better job of team building.
Become A Better Decision Maker
In the end, managers are called on to make the tough decisions. If you are moving at top speed and you start to make bad decisions, then the results of these decisions are going to start to come home to haunt you. Despite all of the work that you’ve put into your job, you’re going to be faced with the results of bad decisions.
If you can learn to slow down, then you’ll be able to give your mind a rest. Giving your brain a break allows it to both rest and meditate. You’ll be able to lower your stress level (always a good thing) and you’ll open yourself up to being able to absorb information, assess the circumstances, and make better decisions Your success requires making good decisions, and slowing down helps you make better decisions. Think of ways that you can invest more time in slowing down.
What All Of This Means For You
So managers should stop trying to pack more time into their days. That is just a recipe for disaster. You may already be running too fast and if you try to run even faster than you run the very real risk of burning yourself out. What you should start doing is trying to slow things down. This advice will actually help you work better, faster, more effectively, and more sustainably. You’ll also enjoy yourself more on a new level.
What managers need to do is to consider the benefits of moving slower and more purposefully. They need to start by identify one simple step toward bringing more slowness into their life. When they do this, they then need to see how that goes, and then try another. Over time what managers are going to realize is that life is much better when you learn how to balance the hustle with slowness.
– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World IT Management Skills™
Question For You: When you take the time to meditate, what should you be thinking about?
Click here to get automatic updates when The Accidental IT Leader Blog is updated.
P.S.: Free subscriptions to The Accidental IT Leader Newsletter are now available. Learn what you need to know to do the job. Subscribe now: Click Here!
What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time
During the course of a normal day, a manager has a lot of different things that we need to spend time worrying about. However, using our manager skills to keep the team that we have onboard is often not one of the things that we worry about on an average day. However, perhaps we should be. If we hold off until they are walking out the door in order to find out why they are leaving, then it will probably be too late. What we really need to be doing is talking with the members of our team today in order to find out what we can do to get them to stick around longer.