Isn’t it true that we all know we need to take a few days to slow down and think about what we are doing, but our instant response is that we have no time to stop and think about what we are doing? Why is it that our mind and body tell us we need things, yet we struggle to actually listen and respond? I believe that stopping is a lost element of the start-up process. When we are in the phase of launching, we all think the most important thing is to work harder, we say, “we need to get this thing done.” We don’t have time to slow down, take a retreat, or focus a day on planning. But, stopping may be the most important thing to do. Here are a few things that are benefits for slowing down.
1) Change is much easier when your organization is young.
In the midst of launching, it is important to quickly re-evaluate progress to make sure we are going in the right direction. The best way to do this is to stop, pull away from the busy work and make sure how you are solving the problem you intended to address. If not, rethink your strategy and quickly change shape. When you are young, change is much simpler. If this approach is used correctly, it can be a great asset to new organizations.
2) Clarity for your team is the greatest importance.
When everyone is working hard, teams get tired and actually lack team work. Taking a day as a team to create a plan beings your team together. As a leader our greatest role is to clearly communicate the vision to our team and rally them together to make the vision come to life. When we slow down, this becomes possible.
3) Slowing down makes you work smarter.
When we are busy its hard to determine when to say yes and no. Yet, when we slow down and evaluate the most important ways to spend time going forward, yes and no become much easier answers to questions. Having a short term plan makes decisions much more clear.
4) You remember why you are working.
When we retreat, it gives us a chance to be excited about what we do again.Too often we get overwhelmed by busy-ness and lose sight of the opportunity we are chasing. There is a reason you are doing this, don’t forget your reason and lose your passion.
As we move forward into the fall season, I would encourage you to take a day or weekend to re-evaluate what you are doing, why you are doing it and how you can do it better. Retreat.