Do you feel like you’re working really hard to reach your goals, and you wish it didn’t feel so strenuous?
You’ve heard the statement ‘work smarter, not harder,’ but what does that mean?
If you’re a river paddler who has a good relationship with the river, you already have a unique perspective on how to work smarter.
Great paddlers look effortless running the most challenging whitewater because they work with the river instead of against it.
You can do this too, both in your life and on the river.
Here are 3 strategies to do that in life:
Get clear on what you want and stop drifting.
Have you noticed that when you ‘drift’ in your life without being intentional about your goals and actions you work a lot harder? If you’re a river paddler, the same is true when you drift into an eddy without momentum or intentional boat angle. I call it ‘smooshing’ into the eddy. I observe my clients having to paddle a lot harder to get where they want to go when they drift.
Tune into how you feel about what you’re doing.
If you’re always feeling stressed, overwhelmed or dissatisfied, it’s important to take note of how your actions are affecting you. It’s time to untangle the story you’re telling yourself about what’s happening from the facts of what’s happening.
One exercise I have my private instruction clients do on whitewater is ferry with their eyes closed. They’re always shocked at how easy it feels. That’s because they have to feel the water versus analyzing the water through their eyes. Too often your brain does worst case scenario river reading. When you turn your mind off you’re able to tune into what’s actually happening. To work smarter, learn to respond effectively to how you feel.
Learn to rest and pause.
When my mind feels overwhelmed and scattered I know that the best thing I can do for my productivity is stop and sit in meditation for 10 minutes. Highly efficient paddlers know when to paddle, but most importantly, they know when to pause their stroke cadence when needed to hit their lines.
Our productivity obsessed culture wants you to believe that resting is a waste of time. You know that the work you do when you’re rested and focused is so much better than the work you do when you’re stressed and overwhelmed. Go against the grain and take back your power to rest and pause so you work smarter.
If you want to learn how to work smarter in your life and/or on the river, email me and ask me about Mind Body Paddle coaching.