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In two separate articles published in late 2021 and early 2022, an executive coach and a human resources professional offered some unexpected advice to help readers increase their own productivity—and their teams as well.

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Work Slower. In an article published by Fast Company, “5 benefits of slow work,” Executive Coach Sara Sabin proposes that instead of clinging to the idea of busyness as the “badge of honor” at work, the “slow work” movement is a better approach. The busyness alternative potentially jeopardizes the quality of your work—not to mention your mental health.

“The slow work movement focuses on mindfulness, creativity, and a balanced working environment,” Sabin writes, admitting that it also “goes against everything we have been taught about being successful.”

Still, she offers a summary of five key benefits of slowing down.

“Getting off the hamster wheel” allows you space to focus on what’s “important” instead of what seems “urgent” at work. And in focusing on the “important” activities, you ironically reduce the number of “urgent” tasks to address “because you have taken the time to anticipate what needs to be done to help you work more efficiently and prevent fires starting.”

Put efforts on “focused” work, not multiple tasks. Echoing the ideas presented by Executive Coach Marsha Egan in a recently published Carrier Management article, “So, You Think Can Multi-Task,” Sabin also stresses that while you may be able to quickly switch from one task to the next, it’s not possible to multi-task.

“This process of switching may only lose you micro-seconds each time, but the cumulative effect of it is inefficient and unproductive work patterns, that become draining,” Sabin writes.

Relax—and tap into your “alpha brain wave” state. Offering the familiar example of having the answer to a complicated problem suddenly dawn on you when you’re out for a walk, Sabin explains this is the “alpha brain wave” state and that a relaxing pace of slow work similarly heightens creativity.

“This makes a compelling case for taking regular breaks,” she writes.

More tips are available in the full article.

Source: 5 benefits of slow work” by Sara Sabin, Fast Company, Dec. 21. 2021

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Let’s Cancel This Meeting. Katie Burke, chief people officer for the customer relationship platform HubSpot, offered the idea of using the phrase “Let’s cancel this meeting”—and four other phrases—more frequently in 2022 as a New Year’s resolution. Even though it’s midyear, it’s not too late to consider this and other suggestions in her Inc.com article, “Five Phrases to Use More Often in 2022,” which will increase individual and team productivity.

“No one ever looks back on their career and wishes they had spent more time in meetings,” she writes. By having the courage to identify those get-togethers that no longer serve their purpose or to let people off the hook who don’t need to attend meetings, managers will create more productive and less fatigued teams, she believes.

Another phrase on Burke’s list is “I really appreciate you.”

With so many people leaving their jobs, leaders need to “get really good at being specific, clear, and direct about what they value in people who work as part of their team,” she writes.

Source: “Five Phrases to Use More Often in 2022” by Katie Burke, Inc.com, Jan. 7, 2022