Want to Increase Executive Presence? Slow Down to Leap Ahead!

— December 6, 2016

There is no denying it – we live in a world that moves at hyper-speed. We walk fast, talk fast, eat fast, and sleep less. This fast-paced reality is amplified in business. We have come to expect a response back from an email we just sent within minutes; we multi-task all day in order to get things done quicker. Needless to say, in certain high-stakes careers, responding to emails within a matter of minutes is of necessity…but what about the rest of us?

Of course one could argue that the more you get done at the office, the less you have to do at home, or the more money your company will pay you. This may be true to a point, but you could in fact be doing the exact opposite without even realizing it – that is, getting less done.

Slowing down to get ahead

Often, when we rush, we become sloppy. Mistakes are made. We read a document so quickly that, at the end, we realize we didn’t absorb any of the content, and have to read it over again. We send emails with typos and forget to save documents. According to an article entitled “Slow Down to Get Ahead,” rushing actually hinders our ability to be intellectually and emotionally available, which are normally signs of someone with high Executive Presence. In fact, research suggests that multi-tasking can reduce effectiveness. According to Dr. John Medina, New York Times bestselling author, being interrupted during a task can lead to 50% more errors!

That’s great, but now what?

There is truly value in slowing down to get ahead. But that’s much easier said than done when our days are filled with 300 emails, 20 phone calls, kids, dogs, and hopefully time for meals in between! Here are some tips to help you slow down and keep you focused:

  1. Create a To-Do list the night before. Order the items in order of priority for the next day. Be sure to start with the ones at the top! This will help you stay focused and organized.
  2. Finish one task before moving on to the next. This will help you avoid lost productivity while multi-tasking.
  3. Take breaks throughout your workday. Five minutes here, ten minutes there. These breaks give your mind a few minutes to relax and reset, and will help you increase your productivity.
  4. Become an expert delegator. We sometimes just want to do everything ourselves, to make sure it’s done right (and we also don’t have time to be explaining to someone how to do it properly!); but this is short term gain for long term pain. Being able to delegate work will not only help you out in the end, but will also help you to increase your Executive Presence.

It is often hard to keep up with the fast-paced world we find ourselves in. There is always something to do, an email to respond to, or a project to finish. It is, however, important to remember that rushing can not only lead to errors and lost productivity, but can also increase stress levels, something we are all trying to avoid!

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Author: Diane Craig

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