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What to Do When You Need to Slow Down, but Can’t Hit the Brakes

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What to Do When You Need to Slow Down, but Can’t Hit the Brakes

I am flat out exhausted. I’m not going to sugar coat it. It’s probably been one of the most physically and demanding quarters we’ve ever had in business, and I’m feeling it.

Now, there are a million and one business coaches out there who’d probably read this and tell me I’m doing it all wrong. I need to streamline. Automate. Sales funnels. Outsource. And while sure, there’s always room for improvement in business, this is a unique situation, and by and large, we’ve already got that figured out.

Sometimes, you go through periods when this is just how it is; especially if you are in a growth phase. Its long days and late nights, and sometimes, if you’re not careful, it comes with a complete crash at the end.

Crash? But I don’t have time for that!

I delivered a workshop on the weekend with three broken toes and laryngitis. Not my finest hour I’ll admit, hobbling around in a Moon Boot while hoping and praying (and trying to force) the sound out of my mouth. Now as bad as this sounds it was an improvement. Because twenty-four hours earlier I’d woken up with no voice at all. Not a sound, not even a whisper. Adding that to my earlier foot injury and my growing lack of sleep and I was just about ready to throw it all in.

But I couldn’t throw it all in! I couldn’t afford to crash. I had a workshop booked that people had paid for. Another business owner who was relying on me to deliver, and a desperate personal need to see a project I’d been working on for a considerable time, through all the way to the end.

So how do you slow down but still get it all done? 

So, now I’m at a point where I know I need to slow down. My mind is telling me. My body is telling me. But I also know I can’t stop completely, so what do I do?

1. Be honest.

I can’t do it all, that is a reality, so allowing myself to believe that I can, only serves to harm me in the future. I am not a failure. I am a human and humans can only do so much.

2. Review goals.

Going back to my overall goals allowed me to focus on my priorities and what of all the things on my to-do list was a true priority.

3. Let go.

So, knowing I can’t do everything, and also what my priorities are, what can I let go of this time? Naturally, we want to bring our A-game to anything we do. But chances are, letting go of a couple of small things will go completely unnoticed in the big picture.

4. Rest.

Rather than battling through, being honest, getting clear on my priorities and listening to my body meant being able to rest when I needed too. And by not pushing through and resting when I needed it, I actually saw an increase in productivity.

So, here I am on the other side, having a couple of real days off and on the mend. While I’m not keen on repeating the last month, I know that sometimes in business you can’t plan for everything. Sometimes you over commit or make a mistake that needs fixing or get really, really busy. That’s just the way it goes. But there is a way to slow it down, even when you can’t stop.

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  • Renee Hasseldine
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    Thanks for your honesty, Lee. I know I can relate. Even with all of the “streamlining” “automating” and “outsourcing”, there will be phases that are just more intense. 100% know where you’re coming from!

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