Pursue What Matters
Episode 171: Slow Down to Speed Up – Part 2
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Dr. Melissa Smith 0:00
How can slowing down help you speed up? Well, hopefully you join me last week for part one, as I made the case for prioritizing life, and that that can indeed help you speed up to focus on what matters. We don’t want you doing more of everything. We want you to doing more of what matters. And now join me today for part two. To learn how slowing down can help you speed up on the things that matter most.
Dr. Melissa Smith 0:48
Hi, I’m Dr. Melissa Smith, welcome to the Pursue What Matters podcast, where we focus on what it takes to thrive in love and work. So of course, last week, we talked about slowing down in order to speed up through prioritizing by getting clear on what matters and connecting with self awareness. So I had four steps to really help you prioritize what matters. And then today, we are going to talk about how you can slow down to speed up through organizing. And so again, we want you to speed up on the things that matter most we don’t want you to just find ways to do more, we want you to be clear and prioritize what matters most. And then organize yourself so that you can do more of what matters, and less of everything else. And so today we’re going to talk about the role of organizing to help you do just that.
Dr. Melissa Smith 1:44
Of course, every week with a podcast, my goal is to help you pursue what matters by strengthening your confidence to lead in one of three ways. First, by leading with clarity, getting clear on purpose, second, leading with curiosity, really helping you to have a focus on self awareness and self reflection. And then third, helping you lead and build a community so you can work effectively. And so today, primarily, we’re going to be focusing on helping you lead and build a community. Because as you organize your efforts, you’re going to need to work with others, it leaves some boundaries for your relationships with others. And so you know, we’ll touch on all three. But really, we want you to focus on how you work well with others and what you need to do to balance all of that. So let’s jump in and talk about how you can organize your efforts so that you can speed up your growth.
Dr. Melissa Smith 2:39
So we don’t want you to try and do everything we want you to do what matters. And so here as we talk about organizing, I’ve got five steps. So last week was prioritizing, we have four steps. Today with organizing your efforts, we have five steps. So jumping right in with step one, identify current activities. So first, we need to get the lay of the land, we need to know where you’re at what you’re doing, and what you want to be doing. And so I’ve got, as we think about identifying current activities, I want you to think about your activities in three different categories. So these may be activities you’re doing now. And you know, you’re looking ahead, you’re moving forward, right. And so we’re gonna kind of do an assessment of that. So the first category of activities are your “Oh yes!” activities. So these are activities that are aligned with purpose. And they really represent the sweet spot of both purpose and passion. So you may or may not be engaged in these activities presently. That’s okay. But these “Oh yes!” activities are the activities that you really want to be doing. These are the activities that really line you up with purpose, and passion. These are the activities where you’re contributing at your highest level. So maybe you only have a few “Oh yes!” activities on your calendar at this point, but you want a lot more of these. And so it’s okay, if you don’t have many of these right now. This is where you’re going. So that’s the first category. “Oh yes!” Like, heck yes! I want to do these things.
Dr. Melissa Smith 4:22
And then the second category is yes, because activities. Okay, so these are important activities, because they facilitate the path forward. Right. So these are activities that are included necessary steps toward more purpose driven activities, and they certainly might be purpose driven. But maybe they’re not in that sweet spot of your purpose and passion. And so these Yes, because activities, support your “Oh yes!” activities, and they kind of they help keep you balanced. Maybe they help you pay the bills. They help keep the lights on. And so these are important because they facilitate the path forward. And now let’s look at the third category of activities. And I call these the No thanks, activities. So these are good activities. So they there’s nothing wrong with these at all. But they aren’t necessarily where you want to be heading. So maybe where they are, where you’re coming from, maybe they have helped to set the foundation. But they’re not really where you want to be heading in terms of purpose and passion alignment. So this work may not be where you can make your greatest contribution. This work is not where your purpose and your passion lie, currently, and maybe it has in other seasons. And that’s why it’s important to respect different seasons. That’s why we want to slow down and get reflective, right, which is one of the things that I talked about last week. So we can, we can respect where we’re at, and we can understand and what that looks like. And so step one is to identify your current activities. And I want you to identify your “Oh yes!” activities, your “yes, because activities” and your “ugggh no thanks” activities, and let’s just see the lay of the land. Let’s see where you’re at. And then write because you might find that you have one or two “Oh yes!” activities, and you have like five or six, no thanks, activities, and then the rest in the yes, because now, that’s going to be hard for you to connect to purpose and passion. If most of your activities are those No thanks. Like I don’t really want to be doing these activities. And so we want to really get the lay of the land so that we can help you to shift over time to make some changes so that you’re in more alignment with that purpose and passion.
Dr. Melissa Smith 6:48
Okay, so now let’s head to step two, which is I want you to rank your time and your energy in each of those three categories. Okay, so how much time is spent in each of the categories? I just talked about that, and how much energy is required for each of the three categories. Now, most of us are good at identifying how much time but I want you to think about energy. So think about physical and mental energy, think about preparation time, think about recovery. The time might not be very significant. But the energy required, makes it really a no thanks, activity potentially. And so I want you to to identify that. So with the time right, you can you can pin that down pretty easily, right time is a good measure to look at. And then for energy, what I would recommend is you could use like, I would probably use a percentage scale, right?
Dr. Melissa Smith 7:48
So if you think about these three categories that these these know, things activities, maybe require a ton of energy. And so they deplete your stores, and maybe your “Oh yes!” activities, they don’t require that much energy because you already bring enthusiasm and purpose and passion to them. And so they’re not as big of an energy drain. Now one of the things that I have found is that some of my oh yes, activities, I love them, I’m so excited about them, I hit bring a lot of energy, but they drain me. And partly what I’ve recognized is because I’m so excited, so I bring more energy to them. And so they’re still good activities, they’re still activities that I want more of. But what I recognize is I need to build in more downtime. So you know, after specific “Oh yes!” activities, I have to schedule downtime. Because if I don’t, I’m going to get totally depleted and and I’m going to lose my energy and my passion for those. Oh, yes. activities. So right, you could have oh, yes, activities that don’t take much time but require a lot of energy, and vice versa. So we just want to rank that time and energy in each category. And then I want you to take a look at what do you notice. So are you surprised by anything? It’s like oh my goodness, like I have more? “Oh yes!” activities than I thought I did. Are you disappointed by what you notice? Maybe you have some goals to work towards more “Oh yes!” activities. And you as you look at it, you see that you haven’t made much progress and that that can be painful to look up but really helpful, because it can help you to to realign and make different choices. Maybe you need to say Say no more often. Maybe you need to say yes more often. What else do you notice? Are you frustrated by anything that you see it’s like oh my goodness, like I keep getting stuck in these No thanks, activities. Maybe that’s a frustration for you. So that’s step two is rank time and energy in each category. So we just want to get very curious. We want to increase our or awareness and understanding of how you’re using your time.
Dr. Melissa Smith 10:04
And now let’s move to step three, which is I want you to identify 123 ways you can move the needle toward more “Oh yes!” activities, and less “please, no” activities. So we’re not talking about overhauling your schedule. But I want you to think about, you know, where could you delegate? Where could you limit how much of the please no activities you commit to? What’s true, is you will need to say no to things in order to be available to say yes. And that might bring a little bit of anxiety to you in the short term. But you need to have space so that you can say yes, to opportunities that come. I want you to highlight steps, regardless of how small they are. That really helped move you toward more. Oh, yes. So one of the things that I’ve noticed specifically probably in the last year, is I’ve gotten a lot better at delegating. I was doing too much of that wasn’t helpful. It wasn’t really serving the work. And as I have gotten better at delegation, it’s really been great because, you know, it’s empowered team members, it’s helped me to focus on the things that only I can do. And it’s increased my satisfaction with work a lot. And so I want you to highlight steps, it doesn’t matter how small they are, that help move you toward more of those Oh, yes, activities. So you might need to take a very long view, if necessary, and that’s okay. Remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day, it takes time to make substantial changes. But here’s the good news, like small changes can help create a sea change over time. And, you know, I want you to focus on daily activities that keep you aligned on your goals, read your goals every day, at least every week. And remember why they matter to you. And then I want you to be intentional about about what you say yes to make sure it’s driving you toward those Oh, yes, activities. And it’s not just about avoiding disappointing people or not being able to say no, because that’s one way we get stuck in those No thanks, activities.
Dr. Melissa Smith 12:33
So that’s step three is identify one to three ways, you can move the needle toward more Oh, yes, activities, and less, please, no activities, okay. And then that takes us to step four, which is manage your calendar. And you might not be the only one managing your calendars. Anyone who is empowered to do that can help you with this, but I want you to use time blocking. So last week, I talked about scheduling whitespace, I literally do that scheduled downtime, limit activities, and consider using designated days for different activities. So that’s something that I have done, you know, and I, I am in charge on my calendar. And so I’ve been able to do that, which is nice. We know that that isn’t realistic for for everyone. But I have designated days that are project days, I have designated days, which are coaching days, I have designated days, which are clinical days. And that’s been very helpful for me, it also just kind of gives me a nice break, as I move through my week, where I can get excited about different activities. Because they’re batched, a little bit, they’re blocked. And so I can really focus in and be present. And that’s been really very helpful for me. So even if you can only do that with your personal calendar, that works, that’s great. Use time blocking, make sure you’re building in recovery time, renewal time. realignment time, that’s something that we talked about last week. And that is step four, manage your calendar. And then step five, when it comes to organizing, we want you to manage your emotions.
Dr. Melissa Smith 14:19
So here’s what’s true, you must tolerate the distress of the unknown, right, especially as you’re shifting focus, and you’re trying to slow down so that you can speed up on what matters most. There’s going to be uncertainty, there are going to be unknowns and you’ve got to tolerate your distress of that. Coming up. I have a great podcast on coping skills to help you with that. We also need to get over FOMO right, this fear of missing out can really keep us stuck in activities that don’t serve us. The truth is you can’t do everything nor should you and so you know, whatever you need to do to help you on that. Let’s do that. Sometimes we just need to take a break from social media or certain conversations. Another way that we want to help you manage your emotions includes focus on what you can influence and forget about the rest. So this really is about purpose like, what, what can you have an impact on. If we try to impact everything, we will be completely useless across the board. But focusing on what you can influence, and then forgetting about the rest can make a huge difference, including, right like you can’t control their people, you can’t control their perceptions of you don’t even try. And then the last thing that I want you to pay attention to when it comes to managing your emotions, is you’ve got to check your ego. So why are your goals important? Right, if it’s just about building ego, you need to choose a better goal.
Dr. Melissa Smith 15:52
It always reminds me of the Great, the great, Disney movie Tangled, where they all have a dream they’re singing. And the main characters dream is like to have bags of cash and live on an island. And they’re like your drink socks like that. If you if you think about your goals, and they’re just about making you look better building ego, it’s time to choose a better goal. We want goals that connect you to purpose and service. And that will absolutely see you through the inevitable machinations of the ego, right? It’ll try and creep in there. But when you can realign with purpose and service, you can usually kick that ego to the curb. And so that’s step five, and manage your emotions. And so today, we’ve talked about how organizing your efforts can help you speed up your growth and your focus on what matters most. And remember, we don’t want to try and do everything we want to do what matters most. And I’ve talked about five steps to help you with that.
Dr. Melissa Smith 16:51
So one identify current activities. We think about the Oh yes, activities, the yes, because activities and the no thanks activities. Step two is rank your time and energy in each category. Step three is identify one to three ways you can move the needle toward more Oh, yes activities, and less please, no activities. And then fourth, we talked about managing your calendar, and five managing your emotions. And so I hope that this little two part series has been helpful for you.
Dr. Melissa Smith 17:26
Head on over to my website to check out the show notes with the resources for this episode at www.drmelissasmith.com/171-slowdownparttwo. Join me on Instagram at @Dr.MelissaSmith, I have lots of good resources for you. I’ll have all of these steps there for you. And I hope that that you’ll connect with me there and give me your thoughts on the podcast. You can do that. Both the Instagram and also by reviewing the podcast. I so appreciate your time and your willingness to do that. In the meantime, I’m Dr. Melissa Smith. Remember love and work, work and love. That’s all there is. Until next time, take good care
Transcribed by https://otter.ai