This is how I opened my January column a year ago…
“January. The transition month back to ‘normality’. Normal work habits. Normal eating habits. Normal exercise levels. Normal attention to priorities.”
Normal, hey? If we had only known. In hindsight, the word “normal” associated with 2020 is laughable.
A few lines later in that same January 2020 column I wrote, “This brings up the concepts of priorities and of how ‘scalable’ our lives are…how adaptable we are to changing needs. By that I mean, how possible is it for us to take on extra ‘stuff’?” Well, that’s certainly more relevant to the 2020 we all lived.
In a society where we learn (are forced?) to multitask like crazy, overschedule our lives, hustle for our own worthiness, squeeze every drop of every minute out and then shoehorn in as much screen time as we can — computer at work, followed by smartphone social media and bingeworthy TV at home — where does it end?
And side note — only about two per cent of the population can actually multitask. They are called “supertaskers”. The rest of us 98 per cent actually try to do it but the quality of every task suffers as a result. I guarantee much more than two per cent of the people reading this will be like, “oh yeah, I’m probably part of the two per cent supertaskers”. Nope, you’re probably not. Just playing the percentages.
In reality, almost all of us need to slow down to speed up. Does that concept sound paradoxical at first? Slow down to speed up.
What I mean is, what would happen if you were incredibly intentional about your day? Your tasks. What you say ‘yes’ to. What would it look like for you to say ‘no’ to a few more things? Lower value things that are not serving your goals. And what are your goals anyway? If you don’t immediately know the answer to that question, that’s where you start.
Slow down to speed up. What do you want? What are you moving towards that is important to you? What goal is important enough for you to give up that extra hour of screen time each day? What is that thing in your life that you want to be remembered by? If you don’t know then that would be something to consider. Unless floating through life with your job as your defining legacy is acceptable to you…
Slow down and reflect once in a while. Slow down daily and reflect for 10 minutes mid-day. I dare you to adventure with it and see what happens.
If growth, contribution or significance are concepts that resonate with you, it’s time to move forward. Time to clarify your goals and sit with the idea of WHY they are important goals to you.
With so many limitations in our society currently, it really is the best time to slow down and reflect on where you want to go next. After that sunny holiday of course.