5 for 5 blog – Slow Down!

8 Nov

Photo Nov 07, 5 00 21 PM

Good morning everyone.

For the past several years, this is how I remember November and December – WHOOOOSH! And I wake one morning and BAM it is December 19th or 20th. I would feel guilty and frankly frustrated that I had allowed this time, which in the US is ramping up for major family holidays, to blow by me. I wished I could have just slowed those days and weeks down.

It is certainly not an easy time for many working people. If you are in corporate America, you may have year-end metrics you are trying to meet. You are also probably up to your eyeballs in planning for 2015. There are events to attend, very quickly a time of year where we should be spending time with those that mean the most to us zips by in a flash.

Please note, if you are new to the 5 for 5 blog, please understand, the first person I write these posts to are myself. So I am certainly not saying that everyone has this issue, but I suspect many people would rather be shifting their attention to their family over this time period and away from work to some extent. The key as I would look at it, again typically on Dec 21st, were the choices I made. It truly all came down to that: the small decisions I was making to check a number to the fourth decimal place rather than having a snow ball fight in the back yard with my kids.

So again, as this is mainly a note to myself, here are some things that I will be doing to slow things down:

  • Build a gratitude list – You may see many people on Facebook and other social media sites posting daily items they are grateful for. As you can read in two of this week’s 5 for 5 articles, gratitude is a key to many positive outcomes: happiness, creativity. Honestly, I believe it will help me focus on what is truly important.
    • NOTE: If you are not someone to broadcast these things publically, keep a private list tucked away in a folder, but keep up with it.
  • Be there – There are several standing traditions my family has over the next couple of months (dinner downtown, seeing the nutcracker, etc.). Be there. But the devices away. The world will not fall apart in the few hours you will be away. You may even go so far as to turn your phone off….if you are with the most important people in your life most likely, they won’t need to call if there is an emergency.
  • Start a new tradition – May be we’ll make paper snowflakes and completely cover a room or my kids and I will make a crazy Christmas playlist on iTunes. Anything you choose, again it is about slowing down and being intentional with your time and focusing it less on yourself and more on those you care about.

While there are probably many other things we will do over the next couple of months, the time to start to refocus and hit the brakes in now. You don’t have to give up your end of year commitments, but you do have to be intentional about who and how you spend that time. Again, I am writing this note right now on Nov 9th as a heads up to myself: Slow Down! If you find yourself in the same situation, I hope you will find time to be with the people you care about the most as well!
Here’s this week’s 5 for 5:

5 Ways To Be More Grateful Everyday – by Meral Kohlblinger – via Holstee

SO WHAT: Exactly as we have discussed in this week’s 5 for 5, learn to “Savor the Ordinary”.

Tags: Gratitude, Work-life


Despite, in spite of, because… three ways to manage creativity – by Seth Godin – via @thisissethsblog


SO WHAT: Does your leadership inspire your team and peers to bring their best, most creative work to the table?

Tags: Leadership, Creativity


Pixar’s 22 Rules of Storytelling—Visualized – by Joe Berkowitz – via Fast Company


SO WHAT: Flipping through the 22 slides may break my “5 minute rule” for reading these posts, but it is worth it. I like #9, “When you are stuck, make a list of what wouldn’t happen next.”

Tags: Storytelling


Simon Sinek: These Are the 3 Most Valuable Leadership Traits – by Jill Kransy – via Inc.


SO WHAT: Develop these traits = laying the foundation to be a great leader.

Tags: Leadership


Reduce Your Stress in Two Minutes a Day – by Greg McKeown – via GregMcKeown.com


SO WHAT: Another great reminder of the need to slow down, not just for this season, but every season. Read how a high profile executive learned to reel in stress and live more fully.

Tags: Work-Life


All the best,