When you drive on a French autoroute, have you ever noticed the signs that are on the side of the road? They seem to have many more signs than in the UK. Quite often it is a sign with a picture of the area on or a famous French person who was from that town. My favourite though is a speed limit sign. Strange I know but bear with me. The one I mean shows 2 different speed limits in red circles. One is 130kph and the other is 110kph with a little rain cloud next to it. Basically, when it's raining, the speed limit is 20kph less than when it isn't and you need to take your foot off the pedal a bit.
This message is definitely something that we can apply to our own lives. When you're under the weather, slow down. When it is more dangerous to go at our existing high speed pace for whatever reason, blocks in our own road for example, we should be more cautious as we proceed. It may just be that today, you just don't feel like it.
How do we do this when you it is almost impossible to find any spare time in the day as it is and we don't want to look like we're slacking or are taking the easier path by being more thoughtful of ourselves both mentally and physically?
1) Eliminate the non essential. Probably easier said than done but just think about this for a second. If you get into work and your to do list is scary in it's size and length, is there anything on it that just doesn't need to be done today or even better, delegated? If so, don't do it or delegate it. This will make you so much more productive and free up your time. Your time needs to be respected especially if for what ever reason you're not at your best.
2) Don't look too far ahead. Just say to yourself 'ok, I can get through the next hour' or 'I can get through the next meeting' and then take a break. Get a cup of tea or some fresh air if possible. See how you feel at this point. If you need to, do the same thought process again. Break the day down into chunks so it seems more manageable and reward yourself at the end of each part.
3) Turn off all alerts. Whether this be on your mobile or on your PC, switch them off. It will only make you more distracted and without this, you can focus on the moment more, especially if you are not fully committed to the task in hand.
4) Say no. You can even practice this before hand (which may make you feel a bit daft) but sometimes we take too much stuff on and a simple yet polite ' I'm afraid no, I can't do that today' is enough. Just try it. You'll be surprised how much better you will feel afterwards.
5) Change your surroundings. If you can, work in a different location than you usually do. The change in scenario may make you look at things differently, with a different perspective. This may also provide you with some much needed peace.
You are an important commodity. Sometimes we all need to allow ourselves a day of taking stock and driving at a slightly slower pace. Allow this to happen once in a while as it's your brains way of saying 'Enough. Done is better than perfect'.