Never go back to a harried life. Consider lengthening your stride…

My childhood was spent competitively riding horses. Every morning before school, every afternoon after school and every weekend in between was spent either training or competing. There was little time for anything else ... and I loved it!

I was fortunate enough to have some of the best coaches in the country invest in me and I loved being pushed and perfecting my craft with them.

Technically, as a show jumper, I was a pretty good rider and yes, I generally placed in most competitions, however I seldom placed first consistently.

My coaches often pointed out to me that one of the reasons for placing and not winning was because I tended to hold my horses on a choppy stride rather than lengthening my horse’s stride in between jumps in jump-off rounds, which meant I often got pipped at the post on time or incurred time penalties.

I always thought that pushing for quicker strides would make me win, but it often just caused me to feel frantic, make mistakes, and have my horse too tense, causing him to knock a pole down.

Over time I learned that I needed to steady up and lengthen my horse’s stride between jumps, which actually gave me more time to be precise when I needed to be and make sure my horse was steady enough to clear the jump and turn quickly afterward. We covered more ground this way and won far more often.

So, what’s this got to do with business or feeling over-worked, you may ask?

Well, I believe that we often get insight into our struggles from reflecting on our past lessons, and this was no different

In a recent LinkedIn article by Arianna Huffington about life and business amidst Covid-19 called ‘We’re Never Going Back‘ she stated:

“The pandemic has made it all too clear that we cannot continue to live and work the way we have breathlessly and always on.”

This one line impacted me deeply so, on Sunday as I was chatting to a dear friend of ours about times when I feel overwhelmed with my workload, he gave this advice: ‘Lengthen your stride, Jacqui.’

As I reflected on this comment and remembered my show jumping days, I realised that all too often busy people get sucked into doing more, faster, thinking they will get through their workload better. In actual fact, all that does is make us feel harried and frantic and breathless ….. and that’s when we make mistakes too.

Lengthening stride includes habitually practicing the art of reflecting, planning, delegating, letting go, using systems, and standardising processes.

I’ve always known how to work hard, perfect my craft and give excellent customer service, but scaling our business is requiring a fresh set of skills from me that need to be repeatedly honed and perfected, new habits that need to be reinforced and cemented.

Working smarter not harder is all about lengthening our stride and recognising what systems to use that can help us do that.

At CodeSafe, we create tools that help organisations increase their efficiencies every day by adopting systems that streamline their operations, up-skill their workforce, and give better visibility while minimising paperwork and double-handling.

Although we already use a lot of our own tools in our business, I’m looking forward to exploring how we can use them in even more creative ways so I can lengthen my stride a bit further.

I truly believe that Covid-19 has given us an opportunity to take a moment to intentionally reflect on how we can consistently lengthen our stride and emerge out of this pandemic with different work and home culture. Not only more productive and effective but more whole, more balanced, and more present.

To find out how CodeSafe’s Solutions can help you lengthen your stride, click the link.