My theme for 2019 is “slow down and simplify.” I tend to move fast, and often too fast. I know I’m moving too fast when my communication is poor, or my execution is sloppy. Poor communication is evident when I ask someone a question that should have a simple response, but instead, I get three clarifying questions back. Sloppy execution is evident by little mistakes like a misspelling in a blog post or failing to prepare for a meeting.
Slowing down is an easy fix for both of these problems. By slowing down, I mean ignoring the desire to mentally check the box as done and move to the next task. Slowing down adds a moment of reflection first. Instead of thinking, I’m done, check the box, move on to the next task; I’m thinking, I’m done, what did I miss (pause and consider for a moment), make needed fixes, check the box, move on to the next task.
Slowing down is also great in conversations, especially emotional ones. When I find myself frustrated with one of my kids, taking a moment and looking at the situation from the outside, as if I’m a third party to it, helps me slow down my emotional (and often incorrect) response, and be the dad I want to be.
The simple act of slowing down for one moment before my response has had an enormous impact on my ability to communicate and execute at a much higher level.