Quality versus Quantity

I have a client who says he often doesn’t have time during the day to eat because he’s so busy. I asked him if being that busy made him more or less effective at accomplishing his work. He actually wasn’t sure. The point I was trying to make is that it’s easy to get caught in a whirlwind of putting out fires, meeting deadlines, and getting the next thing on the list accomplished.

It’s not always so easy to see, at the end of the day, how much actually got done. Was it worth the stress of missing a meal and the toll it takes on your mental and physical wellbeing? What if pausing for 30 minutes in the middle of the day for a healthy meal would have given you a brilliant problem solving insight, or the time you needed for a glitch to resolve itself?

Food is the fuel you need to function at your best. Without it, brain function diminishes, and therefore your effectiveness. When you take the time to manage your need for fuel, you will be more efficient and get more done in less time.

If you find that, like my client, you are rushing through your days on a regular basis, I offer this challenge. For one entire day, consciously focus on slowing down and paying attention to the quality of the work you accomplish, rather than on how much. Take a break for lunch, eat a healthy salad with lean protein, and finish your day trusting that unfinished business can be handled tomorrow. What does that feel like?

Slowing down is not an easy task. All of us have more to do than there is ever enough time for. It’s a myth that if we just work harder or faster or longer, we’ll catch up.

The benefit of slowing down and paying attention to the quality of your work spills over into other areas of your life. The quality of your time, your food, and your relationships are all part of being in charge of the direction of your life.

When you feel in control versus out of control of your life, you have the basis for making any number of decisions that will contribute to your health and happiness. This is a quality of life that can never be matched by completing tasks on a list.

‘Better is better than more’  Seth Godin

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