Three Reasons to Slow Down This Holiday Season

December 2, 2016
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It’s the ‘most wonderful time of the year,’ or is it?  For many Americans, the Thanksgiving holiday officially kicks-off a month full of stress as they struggle to balance their professional responsibilities with additional ‘tis the season to-do’s. 

Here are three reasons to slow down so you can glow all season long.

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The pace of your race could be detrimental to your health.  Jeffrey Brantley, a psychiatrist and director of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program at the Duke Center for Integrative Medicine warns, “We pay an enormous price in both health and happiness for living in a sped-up world.”  It would be unrealistic to recommend that you hire a personal assistant to lighten your load, however you can make simple changes to decelerate in order to enhance your mood, mind and even your memory. 

Schedule a half hour to sit and sip a coffee without any electronic devices.  Take the long way home from work.  There is a high probability that during these peaceful pauses, the solution to a perplexing problem you have been trying to solve will suddenly appear.

Time pressure can impede your ability to retain information.  If you rush through your day at 100 miles per hour, you will find it nearly impossible to recall both basic and complex information.  When Julie Earles and her colleagues at the Wilkes Honors College at Florida Atlantic University studied the relationship between time pressure and remembering information, they found that slowing down helps to recall information accurately.  “If people are under a lot of time pressure, they have difficulty retrieving important pieces of information,” Earles stated.  These findings are particularly important for sales professionals who benefit immensely when they remember details about prospects and clients such as technical specifications, organizational structures, etc. 

Dale Carnegie’s 6th Human Relations principle is, ‘Remember that a person’s name is, to that person, the sweetest and most important sound in any language.’  When meeting someone for the first time, slow down, repeat their name back to them, e.g., “It’s nice to meet you, Frank.”  Then create a snapshot in your mind that will help you recall his name when you bump into him in the future.  For example, you may picture a hotdog to remember, ‘Frank.’ 

Constantly rushing can compromise your most important relationships.  Picture this—you’re in the kitchen prepping dinner, pausing to update a project plan and helping your daughter with homework when a sales rep knocks on the door.  You’re tempted to ignore the bell, but set aside multi-tasking to answer. 

This type of time pressure turns the relationship between the primitive and thinking parts of your brain upside down.  The result is that you either lash out at, or completely ignore, the people around you.  To avoid similar ‘lose-lose’ scenarios, decrease the total amount of activities you are doing simultaneously, one by one, over time. At first, you may feel uncomfortable delaying dinner or responding to a client, however just remember that Dale Carnegie said, “Practice makes permanent.” 

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