You might get a rush from speeding through tasks, especially those that you don’t enjoy. (Dishes and grocery store lineups, anyone?)
But there comes a point when faster isn’t better. Your work, health, and relationships can suffer. Sometimes, you need to slow down so you don’t burn out. And do more in the long run!
First, distinguish “good fast” from “bad fast.”
Good fast is about living.
It’s when you feel strong, free, and powerful. For example:
- The thrill of accomplishment and efficiency
- The excitement of winning
- Fun and celebration
- Being in flow and feeling ultra present
- The good vibes that come with quickly letting go of mistakes, grudges, resentment, or anger
Clearly, there is a place for speed. But it’s important to also know the dark side of the fast lane.
Bad fast is about chasing.
You can’t keep up. Your mind and body go haywire.
- Your body’s stress response kicks in: nausea, headache, trouble breathing, temperature changes, shaking, paralysis
- Your mind is foggy
- You make more mistakes
- You feel constricted
- You’re overwhelmed by pressures and expectations
- You have tunnel vision: negative-focused, don’t see options, hyper-vigilant
- You fear messing up or missing out
- You get angry and frustrated
- Things feel outside your control
Assess your burnout risk.
How often are you in “good fast”?
How often are you in “bad fast”?
Another way is to ask yourself, “What is my relationship with this moment?”
Use this to check-in on yourself. Any moment can be a nuisance or a gift. You get to decide! (Question credit goes to SIGroup member, Arto Tienaho. Thanks for sharing!)
Then , practice slowing down.
When you are used to moving quickly by default, slowing down takes active effort. Here are some ways to reduce your burnout risk.
Ask for help.
When work is overwhelming, share how you are feeling with your coworkers and/or boss. They’re probably happy to offer support and guidance. Bonus: your authenticity will promote better teamwork.
This poster with 50 ways to take a break is perfect for newbie break-takers.
Engage in mindful activities.
Take time to drink your coffee – with all your senses. Go for a mindful walk. Tend to a garden.
Be playful and creative.
Watch comedies, be goofy with your friends, try laughter yoga, or sing karaoke!
Simplify your life.
Say no to requests without being apologetic. Say thank you instead. If you have trouble with it, try getting an unattached person to craft your email!
Get out and explore.
When you step out of your routine, walk down new alleys, and wander without destination, you’ll realize how big the world is. Enjoy it!
Remember to be generous with yourself.
Even a few moments of slowness can lead to better quality work, greater empathy and connection, and deeper appreciation for what’s around you. Let yourself have it.
If the roots of why you chase go deep, it helps to get professional support to understand your patterns so you can finally break your habits. Coaching is one way to rewire your learned patterns. If you are curious, contact me to learn more.
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