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  • Writer's pictureRobert Norton

Sometimes slowing down is the work

Updated: Jun 24, 2022

It was the end of March and I was on the leadership front lines of the first wave of Covid-19, which was threatening to overwhelm our hospital system’s capacity. My assignment was to quickly deploy over 50 project managers to the emergency response efforts most in need of coordination and process design. For weeks, I woke up before 5 AM and worked past 8 PM to make sure the right resources were in the right place at the right time. We had to run as fast as we could in front of the wave.

Late one night, I finally shut my laptop down. As I silently congratulated myself for my stamina, I walked into the foyer and glanced at my reflection in the mirror. I was literally covered in hives.

Our bodies will give us signs we are overdoing it long before our minds will.

Once we are in overdrive, we have a hard time realizing that the decision to keep pushing forward without appropriate rest is our own. In fact, sometimes slowing down is the work. It can help to take a minute and calibrate: Your Priorities, Your Pace, and Your Perspective.

Priorities: Is that item on my to-do list a “must do” or a “could do?”

Pace: What would benefit me the most right now? Crossing one more thing off my list or taking a strategic recovery break?

Perspective: How might other people be experiencing my sense of urgency?



 

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