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Slow down

It has been a hectic couple of months. My personal life has been hectic, my work life has been hectic and my all round productivity has went out the window. I have stayed off Facebook, other than promoting the Dojo I manage, both through time constraints and the fact I was getting overly irritated at the amount of posts I see that really didn’t ring true of the people who posted them. I’ve rushed far too much and not left time for myself or for those I care about. In its place I found my time being spent on fighting fires, not set by me but by others that should have known better. I’ve felt frustration at my lack of focus and the harder I tried the more difficult I found it to simply keep my mind on the task at hand.

It’s been quite wearying at times, but it’s also been an opportunity to practice slowing down. Last week I left my office drove to the coast and just ran barefoot in the cold and rain on the beach. Clarity has a way of returning when you stop thinking for a while and simply enjoy being alive and able to move in nature. It gave me a chance to refocus on what is important in life: my family, my own personal wellbeing and to teach others what others have taught me. Balance has always been elusive to me. I’m either 100% all in or burnt out and frustrated. These have not made for a good life strategy, leaving me frustrated and distracted.

It feels at times like stress was never ending and I would never be able to do enough. There was never enough time. I was never productive enough, never focused enough.

At times we all feel like this, the world is not all sunshine and roses and I have had some dark days in my life, but when I reconnect to what is important I get a little better perspective on life.

Having a to do list as long as my arm and never getting to the end of it is exhausting and again adds to me being irritated and rushed.

The work will always be there, and if I wasn’t there tomorrow, someone else would pick up the pieces. The point is we all focus on the wrong things. What’s in front of you is not as important as what’s inside you and the more we focus on ourselves first the more energy we have to deal with the multitude of things we need to do in a day. It’s not the hours we spend working - rather the productiveness of those hours. ‘Better to work less and achieve more’ - something I can get my head round, but struggle to do. The hardest task I did this week was to turn off my phone and just do nothing.

Doing nothing every week is a vital part of being productive. Rest is another important part of being at your best. Without it brain fog slips in the back door of your mind and productivity is lost.

The point is, life is short. We get lost in the unimportant things that seem so important in the moment but pale into insignificance when you have someone you care about in true pain.

We can all learn to slow down, refocus on the important things in life. No matter what age you are - you can restructure your mindset, reinvent your work/life strategies and start anew. Each day is a new opportunity to change for the better, but only if you are willing to step back and look at what is not working, and make the changes needed.

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