• Dr. Emi Garzitto

Slow Things Down to Increase Productivity




You are behind as you approach a deadline, and it is now crunch time.


What happens to your brain and your body as you begin to feel overwhelmed, anxious, or worried? Your breathing moves more quickly, your heart beats a little faster.


Are you aware that your thoughts are beginning to speed up? This is because as you start to rev up your anxiety, your nervous system is speeding up your physical body. Your body thinks that something requires your attention. You start producing energy inside your body as it prepares to do something. Doing a lot of things does not mean you are being efficient.


When your body speeds up so does your brain. Your thoughts move quickly. In fact this is what happens in panic. Your body moves quickly and your brain either shuts down or goes into overdrive.


Moving quickly is inefficient so the name of the game is efficiency. In order to speed up productivity your first task is to move slowly. When you slow down your nervous system, you help slow down thinking and you are more resourced to actually do something productive.


Here are some suggestions of what you can do to slow things down.


· As soon as you become aware of your body feeling anxious attend to the body first. Take some deep breaths. What do you feel? Where do you feel it? Take deep breaths while you focus on the area that is tense or uncomfortable.

· Remove the clutter off your desk. Work on one thing and have that present for you on your workspace. Work on one task to completion before moving to the next task

· Make a list. Choose the one thing you can do and work on that one thing to its completion.

· Limit the distractions. Break your time into chunks. Allow for breaks and pauses. You can calm your nervous system and you can make it part of your practice. Slow your workplace environment and work in small managed chunks.


It turns out that slow and steady does win the race.


You can do prevention by building regular practices in your workspace that allow for times of doing the following:


· Allow time in your day to check in with your body. Noticing what is happening in your nervous system is a key skill set that will allow you to maximize your work output while feeling better about it. Know the signs in your body that you are under stress and learn how to manage those symptoms.

· Walking, breathing, minimizing distractions, drinking water - All of the strategies are low tech and easy to implement. The more you practice the strategies, the easier it will become to know what to do.


Managing worry is a skill, a strategy and a lifelong skill. Build systems into your workday that help you practice building structure, rigour and body awareness. This is the key to learning how to control your anxiety.


If you would like to learn more strategies, you can sign up for a free 30 minute consultation at www.emigarzitto.com.

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