Slow Down – Take a Mentoring Moment!

Are you busy? Rushing from one task to the next?

Suffering from information overload? Or worse,

At risk of overwhelm because you’re juggling too many priorities?

I don’t know about you, but my “To Do” grows faster than I can tick off the done items. I’m pretty efficient (I like to think) and recently one of my mentors has shared some great tools for taming my email in box – yes it can be done – and training the brain away from distractions. So I’ve lifted my productivity.

Interestingly, the productivity technique involves 25 minutes of focused effort followed by a 5 minute break, getting up and moving around, switching to another task (reading a newsletter?) or having a cuppa. And, since health professionals now tell us that sitting is the new smoking, wellbeing, as well as output improves.

Harvard Business Review advises that if you need speed, slow down. In a study of businesses, they found that those who did improved sales by 40% and operating profits by 52% over 3 years. These companies took time out to reflect, think, learn and encourage innovation aligned with strategy.

One of the secrets of a pause in your workday is that as well as resting your brain and refreshing your body, it frees up time so you can reflect, think, learn, innovate and align with your own strategy. Stephen Covey said: “Start with the end in mind” and I think we also need to take time out along the way to remind ourselves why we’re doing what we’re doing. What’s the ultimate purpose? What’s really important?

There’s a bonus when you reflect and think out loud with someone you trust to listen to you. As you hear yourself speaking (they don’t say much but listen actively) you become clearer on issues and priorities, you gain insight and often, you understand what’s right for you and make a decision to act.

You might not call this person a mentor. They may be a friend, a colleague or simply someone in the coffee queue but that conversation, that “ah ha” is a mentoring moment. That’s how mentoring works!

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About Ann Rolfe

Ann Rolfe is internationally recognised as Australia's leading specialist in mentoring, and is available for speaking, training and consulting. Here Ann shares her knowledge and allows you to ask your most pressing questions about mentoring.

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