by Petra Lehner
Shailia and Pat asked me to contribute a blog post about “when to slow down and when to speed up”. Here are some of my ideas on the topic.
Today, we face a lot of situations where one simple ability is not enough to successfully fulfill the job we have been asked to do. More and more, we are required to become multi-taskers and quick-workers. Information-overflow, workload pressure and increasingly technical and/or complex matters are commonplace these days.
The dark side of the game is that doing more and more things will cause stress, illness and emotional breakdown (best known as burn-out).
Now, as we all are coaches, no matter if we are employees, mothers, fathers, leaders, students… let’s quickly change our perspective and look to the: „what can we do“ side. And it is a sunny side!
It is easy to become a multi-tasker/quick-worker in your daily life just by training your brain to stay focused. This will lead to channeled energy and concentrated work. And the key is this:
Slow down and you will accomplish more.
While holding seminars on speed-reading, mental training and excellent learning (which is all about excellent communication with yourself!), I found out that the brain loves to learn and work quite long if it is allowed to take enough little breaks in -between.
Also important: before you start with whatever you need to do, declare what you are going to do!
Most of the time, people begin doing their work only to be interrupted by the cellphone ringing or the mailbox beeping. In an instant, concentration is gone. Instead of reconnecting after the interruption, many people start to do some new work while the first point of the schedule is still open in the unconscious mind. So there is a piling-up of activities never finished and the poor brain does not know where to focus.
Your brain loves to think fast, complex and in a big variety of colourful chaos mixed-up with structure. Yet it can only process information from one channel at a time.
Brain research has found that learning or reading while doing sports at a pulse-rate of 90 to 100 beats per minute is a real turbo-boost and happens absolutely fast and long-lasting. Try it out! If you have a home trainer or a treadmill grab a book, watch a film or listen to a learning course. Whatever you choose, you will discover, that you have focused attention and remember almost everything after the end of the session.
Sometimes it is too much. Did you know this? You need to write an article, carry out research for a new customer, call some clients, do household chores etc. It is essential that you take a healthy rest.
If you find yourself not sleeping well, this proven, very effective and powerful tool may help: make daily notes.
Get a notebook or some lined paper and write down whatever comes to your mind for 20 minutes. Recall, reflect or just let the paper be the counterpart for your inner voice. Do not censor yourself. Just keep on writing for 20 minutes. After a couple of days you will discover a massive change. Your focus will have become clearer and stronger.
And then: take a break. Take a mind-break, a brain-break. If small but constant breaks are like a routine for you, you will have created your own mental island on which to recover at any time.
Start with a 5-minutes-break. Do nothing else but breathing. Make at least three of these 5-minute-breaks every day and schedule them!!!
If you are interested in speeding up your reading-rate, here is a little Christmas present for the readers of this blog: Lesegeschwindigkeit erhöhen (PDF in German).
For today, take a break and enjoy the following:
Thank you for your focused attention 😉
Petra is a coach, trainer and book author living in Salzburg, Austria. Her areas of specialty are speed-reading, excellent learning, mental training and coaching as well as mental alignment and communication for peak performance. She works with private individuals and business clients and hold seminars on these subjects regularly.
MetaMind homepage: http://meta-mind.at/
Petra’s MetaMind Blog: http://meta-mind.at/Blog/index.html
Petra Lehner on Twitter: http://twitter.com/Petra_Lehner