Women in the Business Arena™ EP91: The Art of Slowing Down

“It’s the constant depletion of our attention that creates the struggle. We are losing our capacity to function properly in our business. We are so focused on speed, endurance, and growth that we’re not ever actually stabilizing or creating a business that serves us.” - Sonya 

What if I told you that you could do more in your business by doing less? Studies show that it takes the average person 25 minutes to return to their original task after an interruption. That phone call, tap on the shoulder, quick email or social media post, all of those little interruptions add up quickly. Most entrepreneurs started their own business for freedom, ease, and balance. However, when they look at their current lives they find the opposite. The hustle mentality - the thought that we have to speed things up, grow exponentially in record time, and stay accessible to clients - can keep us trapped in the downward spiral towards burnout. Learn how to slow down, be more deliberate, and practice stillness, to gain momentum and success in your business.  

“If you really want to succeed in business, slow down.” - Sonya

We are surrounded by a culture of busyness. Everyone is plugged in most of the time. Our bodies, lives, and businesses are constantly pushing us to go faster, and unless we choose to be intentional, it can be so easy to get caught up. Take a moment to reflect. Are you constantly feeling pulled to move in a pace that is uncomfortable, stressful, or draining? If so, it’s probably time to slow down. 

Often we can feel that we should move as quickly as possible to check off our to-do list. However, when we move quickly, focusing more on the completion of the task than that task itself, we aren’t giving our minds the ability to master the information. When we slow down and are intentional with our work, we have the capability over time to truly become experts in the work we are doing. Creativity, innovation, integration, and stability all come in the midst of stillness. 

Moving slowly isn’t always the best. However, when we give ourselves the space to slow down, we will have the energy needed when it comes time to move more quickly. Sustainable growth is all about endurance, and the balance of work and rest. On the other side of a period of increased speed and work should come a period of rest and repair. It is this ebb and flow that helps us maintain strength and momentum in our business. 

“The stillness is where creativity lies. In the depths, in your inner work and inner spaces, that is where you are mining the gold. Those are the ideas and solutions for your business. They're not going to come from the rapid pace. Even if they did, you would be too busy to notice.” - Laura 

Slowing down and making space shouldn’t be one more task that adds to your feeling of overwhelm. Start small. Implement one new intentional habit this week. Below are some simple suggestions to get you started. Pick one, or create your own. 

  1. In the midst of a busy day, take five minutes to close your eyes, relax your body, and simply notice your breath. Give yourself the gift of five minutes of stillness, and allow your mind to quiet. It’s amazing how the answers we need can come in the midst of the intentional time we take to rest.
  2. Schedule a massage, manicure, or pedicure. During those appointments, we have no option to hustle. Allow yourself to enjoy the time that is devoted only to the care of yourself.
  3. Pick an evening to shut off your phone. Have dinner with your family or friends. Spend intentional time connecting with people you care about, without the distraction of technology.
  4. Grab a coffee and go to the park. Put your phone down and enjoy the wind in the trees, the sun on your face, the grass under your feet.
  5. Get up 20 minutes early to enjoy some quiet time to yourself. Make a cup of coffee or tea. Read a book, or the paper, or just let yourself enjoy the stillness before a busy day.

Some Topics we talk about in this episode: 

  • Introduction - 1:02
  • How Are We Currently Operating? - 4:34
  • First, Master the Skills - 10:56
  • Slowing Down in the Midst of the Culture of Hustle - 14:22
  • Where to Find Stillness - 20:58
  • Being Intentional with Connection - 25:17
  • Wrap-up and Takeaways - 31:12

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