At one time, being busy seemed cool. Constantly sending out invites to an already overbooked calendar, setting up calls with people to “pick my brain”, networking with any and everybody, and saying “yes” to every opportunity looked like progress. However, at that time I had no idea what I was doing. I was just doing stuff because I thought that's what I was supposed to do. I was not moving forward at all. Instead, I was running in circles like a dog chasing its tail. I was making myself dizzy and honestly, the people around me were getting dizzy too.
Thankfully, I had a few women who told me I needed to take a chill pill because they couldn't keep up with me and had no idea what I was doing. My response? In so many words I would say, "me either, girl. Me either." But, it was those honest and transparent conversations that made me press the pause button for a season to figure out what the heck I was doing. I will forever be grateful for them. It's because of their love for me and their genuine desire to watch me grow that I'm making forward progress today.
Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher. - Oprah Winfrey
That chill pill I ingested was strong enough to make a horse go night night. I'm not sure if that makes sense but let's roll with it. The pill was impactful enough to slow me down for months. For the first time ever, I was able to focus and appreciate stillness. I became aware of my internal and external distractions. Even the most minute detail of my distractions was magnified. I began to understand why I wasn't moving forward and making any progress in my business.
Although I can write about those deep, emotional dead weights I was carrying around, I'll save that for another post. What I want to focus on in this article are the little things. The things that we often don't focus on because they are a part of our daily routines. They seem insignificant to our healing, creativity, and growth. But actually, their existence contributes to our inability to move forward. They keep us running in circles and if we don't learn to pause and appreciate stillness, we may never see them.
Consider this one of many opportunities to be still. You're reading this, so take it in. This is your chill pill. It's a smaller dosage than what I had but hopefully, this blog post is only a portion of what you've decided to ingest to get well soon.
So, what are those little things that you may be overlooking that are stifling your growth and prohibiting you from being more productive? Below are a few possibilities.
I could have just shined a light on smartphones but tablets and laptops are included. I don't believe the problem lies in the device itself. On the contrary, I appreciate technology and all that it offers. However, the problem is how much time we spend on it, how attached we are to it, and our inability to create balance with it. That's all I'm saying.
Learn how and when to turn those notifications off. Schedule your phone to automatically set itself on Do Not Disturb during certain hours. Don't check your emails when you first wake up. And give your thumb a break from all of that scrolling on social media. Spend less time with a device in your hand or at your fingertips and more time prioritizing the projects and tasks that you want to complete.
Normally, when we hear the word "relationship", we automatically think about romantic relationships only. However, relationships can include anyone or anything we are connected to. There's the landlord-tenant relationship, business relationships, family relationships, our relationship with money, and so on. Some of those relationships can be distractions. If it's toxic and you're constantly not feeling good enough, how in the world can you be productive? Being in a toxic relationship of any kind will absolutely have you running in circles and in some cases, you will start moving backward.
In those moments of stillness and chill, you'll start to understand what, where, and who may be stunting your growth. Clarity will arrive and expose the lifeline and bond between you and whatever or whoever. It's going to be tough cutting those ties or setting boundaries. But you have to do what you have to do to regain your focus even at the expense of some relationships.
I'll be the first to admit that I love food. I'm a Louisiana girl so I know flavors and I seek them out whenever we visit a new restaurant. It's not enough for my belly to be satisfied. I enjoy the entire experience. I love the smells, the seasonings, and of course, the satisfaction of having a delicious meal. But as I've matured, I've realized that food is more than those things I've mentioned. It includes those things but it's more than those things.
Food should taste good but it should also be good and good for us. Natural foods are packed with everything our body needs because they were created for our bodies. Coupled with moving our bodies, prioritizing rest, and getting some quality sleep in at night, eating nutritious foods can help boost our creativity and help us focus on those tasks that are most important to us.
Technology, relationships, and our health are only three areas that can distract us and cause us to be unproductive. There are several other areas we can and should focus on. However, starting with these three is a great place to start.
If you're chasing your tail or feeling stuck, remember pausing and embracing stillness can help you discover the focus you need to move forward, make progress, and be more productive in your business and everyday life.