July 2, 2015
How Leaders Can Slow Time Down

The routine of the alarm clock, morning coffee, kids rushing to school and the commute can make work days seem like they get lost in one another. We blink, and we’re celebrating a new year. This especially applies to CEOs and leaders who often have hectic schedules and it can make it challenging to be fully present in conversations with people at work or at home.

So how do we deal with this issue of time racing by?

Below discusses mindfulness, paying attention, actively noticing new things, and how leaders can ultimately slow down time.

Slow down and focus more on the here and now.

If you are in a conversation with someone else, try ignoring everything else and just listen. You will not only listen better over time, but also be more cognizant of your day and in turn make each day more memorable. When you do this, your brain will store more information and slow down the perception of how fast time is really passing.

Try learning to breathe effectively.

We all take about 20,000 breaths a day but most of us do not actually breathe effectively. As we grow older, the stress and tension around us starts to adversely affect the way we breathe. If we get nervous we tend to take short sharp breaths to help prepare for whatever fear we face. Prolonged stress causes us to breathe more constantly like this, and we end up only using about a third to a half of our lungs.

Breathing improperly leads to a poor exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide in our bloodstream, depriving our cells and organs of vital gases. The result can cause us to experience panic attacks, dizziness and fatigue. Proper breathing comes from our stomach and also our diaphragm, with a relaxed intake of air. Proper breathing elevates our mood and improves our mental capacity and our stamina.

Try taking up basic yoga.

Meditation and breathing are important parts of yoga. Meditation is a way to get calm, quiet and focused, and will help you slow down. Meditation trains your mind to relax and stay positive. You can apply the techniques you learn for meditating just a few minutes each day. It will help you feel more centered, balanced and in control.

Time will keep going on, but by trying to notice and slow down in everyday life, leaders can ultimately “slow down time.”

Bill Maw
Bill Maw is the author of The Work-Life Equation: Six Key Values That Drive Happiness and Success. He is also a business executive, social entrepreneur and mentor. He has more than 30 years of workplace experience with large, mid, and small-sized companies around the world where he has witnessed astonishing success stories and spectacular failures. Visit for more information.