Slow down: You're moving too fast

Too much stress can equal lack of success. Photo: Unattributed

WASHINGTON, August 4, 2013 – It seems today as if everyone is leading a hectic life. More than ever, my clients are expressing that they are doing, doing, doing and not taking any down time at all. Somehow, somewhere along the way, leading a stressful life has become the new normal.

We live in a society of chase and conquer. We accomplish one goal and we move directly on to the next without taking the time to reflect on and even celebrate our accomplishments. The fast paced lives that more and more of us are leading, if and when coupled with zero rest or relaxation, will eventually result in both physical and mental health problems.

We all need to remember: we are not machines. Even if we were, even the most rugged industrial machines still need maintenance and the required down time it takes.

Take a moment to answer the following questions. Your responses might help you decide if your own life’s pace could use a few adjustments.

  • Do you have the time to do the things you enjoy? 
  • Do you take time for yourself? 
  • Do you take time with your family?
  • Do you feel like you are behind even before the day has begun? 

If you answered “no” to any of these questions read on. If you have answered “yes” to any of them, please share your secrets with us in the comment section below. 

SEE RELATED: Leading a values-driven life

If your answers skew heavily toward the “no’s,” start by asking yourself two additional questions: 

  • What can you do to temper life’s time consuming demands?
  • What can you do to add more balance into your life? 

To help answer these questions, the first task on your list should be this one: Try to create a schedule. Sticking to it is not an absolute, whether you’ve decided to schedule daily, weekly or monthly. But adopting a regular schedule will absolutely help control time demands when you know what is coming and can actually see what is next and beyond.  

After you create a schedule for your tasks, the next thing to do is draw up a list identifying those things in your life that, when they come up suddenly, you will say “yes” to. But also be clear about why you might make what should be very rare exceptions to your rule. 

SEE RELATED: Baby Boomers: The ‘Sandwiched Generation’

Further, try these additional suggestions: 

1. Practice Awareness – In order to make a change, big or small, you have to be aware. Be present and engaged in whatever activity you are participating in. Be aware of how situations and people impact you and vice versa. Notice where you feel things in your body. 

For example, when you are stressed where do you feel it? Do you get tightness in your chest? Or do you get a “kicked in the stomach feeling”? Do you get tension headaches? Be aware that whatever it is for you, your body signals you. Notice where and it will give you helpful information. 

When I am stressed or anxious I feel a queasy feeling in my stomach. I then try to identify the source of my queasiness.  When I pinpoint it, I can deal with it accordingly. Knowledge and self-awareness give me more clarity and I am able to focus better. 

2. Evaluate your own situation. 

3. Decide what your priorities are and honor them with your actions. In other words, live your life according to your priorities. For example, if health is an important value to you and is a top priority, are you living a healthy lifestyle? How are you honoring your value of health?

For me, being healthy is very important. If it’s important to you as well, honor that value as I do by exercising four times each week, eating healthy, and getting plenty of rest.

And now, two final suggestions:

  • Be vigilant with your time. Recognize and plan for all of the truly important things, meaning setting aside personal time and for many of us, being with you family and friends.
  • Set clear boundaries and limits that can guide you when you have limited time.  Choose what you do consistently with your values. 

To learn more visit Susan’s website or send her an email.

twitter: @SelfTalkCoach

Susan is a Certified Business, Life & Leadership coach working with individuals, any size business and the government. Her focus is life/career transition, business/leadership, and confidence/resilience strategies and techniques. Susan’s passion is helping people reach their personal and professional goals. She wants you to wake up excited and go to sleep fulfilled.

This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

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Susan Samakow

Susan Commander Samakow, PCC, is a Certified Business, Life and Leadership Coach. Susan focuses on life and career transition, business and leadership, and confidence and resilience strategies. Susan is also a speaker and facilitator, as well as a Community Content Producer for WUSA 9 TV. She is the former president of the ICF Metro DC Chapter, the largest in North America. Susan’s clients are individuals, any size business and the government. Visit Susan’s website: Susan is on Facebook, Twitter, and Linked In.


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