Slow down to succeed more

So it’s still early in the New Year, but all those mince pies and crackers now seem like months away.

And I was thinking: what can I write at this difficult time, when the light at the end of the tunnel seems to be fading a little, to really add value and help independent business owners.

And I think it’s this:

We all get bogged down in the day-to-day pressures and issues. We all get stressed and sometimes feel we can’t see the wood from the trees. It’s only when we have a decent break (like Christmas) that we get the opportunity to ‘press restart’ and get some really valuable and refreshing (and much needed) perspective on what we’re doing.

That’s why we so often do New Year’s resolutions.

So perhaps in order to be more successful in business, and in life, in 2021 it’d be a good idea to build in more times to slow down, reassess and get a break.

Indeed, they’ve known that this is essential throughout history: which is why the week is 7 days, one of which is officially a day of rest.

But, in today’s frantic world, it’s so easy to get caught up the rush and stop slowing down … and, over time, this makes us blunt, stressed and ineffective.

And, like most common-sense advice, it’s easy to say ‘Slow down to succeed more’, but, of course, it’s often much harder to actually do it.

So here are a few tips to help you as you battle through the year, to ensure you can always get that time and space that’s so badly needed every day and every week.

After all, you don’t want to get to the end of another year and say: ‘where did that go?’ and ‘what did I really achieve?’

My tip would be small systems.

Systems to slow down each day, each week and each month, just for a little bit, to ‘sharpen our saw’.

And this is an area that I feel so many articles and advisers miss: there’s far too much of: ‘Here’s my advice on what to do’ and far too little of: ‘Here are a few simple systems that you can easily put in place that, if applied continually, will really add value to you, step by step’.

People so often advocate that you write down goals, but so often forget that the only way to get goals achieved is through simple systems.

Goals without systems is simply wishful thinking.

Goals with systems will deliver continuing success.

Systems are the key to making small changes. Systems are the key to making things work properly. Systems are the key to results.

And the simpler the system, the easier it is to actually integrate it into your routine.

So, here are three simple systems that are easy to do, that will force you to slow down to succeed more:

  • Daily ‘Go the extra inch’: 25 minutes.
    • Before the day starts: spend 5 minutes, maybe in the shower specifically thinking of one or two things you’re grateful for.
    • During the day: what do you love to do that energises and invigorates you? Plan 15 minutes during the day to make sure you do it. See it as ‘vitally important’ and aim to do it no matter what.
    • At the end of the day: spend 5 minutes mentally reviewing the day: what one valuable lesson did you learn today, and what one thing are you really looking forward to tomorrow?
  • Weekly compass planning: 10 minutes
  • Monthly goal review: 15 minutes
    • Write your goals down, then allocate just 15 minutes every month to review them, either alone or with a colleague. Actions will flow from this and these goals will magically start to get done.
    • Build key actions to be done into your weekly compass plan.

So, there you have it: a few simple actions that are easy to do, cost nothing, and over the long term, will have a massive impact on your happiness, motivation and, of course, success.

So this time next year, you’ll be able to say: ‘Wow, what a long way I’ve come!’

And what could stop you doing this?


All those hassling annoying things that happen every day, and get in the way of doing what you really wanted to do.

As John Lennon famously said: ‘Life is what happens when you make other plans’.

So, how do you deal with this, and ensure that you’re both flexible so you can deal with ‘life’ as it arises, and also rigid in your plans to slow down to succeed more?


Have a good personal planning system, with prioritised action lists that you tick off. Use your weekly compass plan to keep you on track. And never go to bed until these 3 actions are completed on the day you planned for them.

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