The things we notice when we take a moment to slow down…

I was born and brought up in Uxbridge, North West London, and for as long as I can remember life there seemed like a complete blur! Everything and everyone was always rushing, I was really drawn to it and loved the fast paced way of life.

When I was living and working in Central London, everything I did felt like rushing, from getting ready for work, travelling on the Tube, eating and living in a “everything needs to be done by yesterday” pace. Even having a coffee at a coffee shop wasn’t the experience it should have been, it was more of a routine, go in, exchange a few pleasantries with the barista, never drink in, always with a “to go” nod, it is like a secret code that every barista knows!

Reflecting upon it now, I wish I’d taken the time to enjoy the simple things in life more, after all, I was living in one of the world’s greatest cities! Without being present I didn’t feel like I was living, I was existing in the same pattern day after day.

One of the simple pleasures I missed out during my time in London was reading. Since I was very young I have always had a passion for reading and in James Clear’s Atomic Habits, he points out the difficulties of breaking the cycles of bad habits “the task of breaking a bad habit is like uprooting a powerful oak within us” and I can completely relate to that.

I was inspired to write this blog today after taking some much needed me time in one of my favourite coffee shops, not taking it away, but by sitting with my hot chocolate and simply enjoying the moment. We get so caught up in the daily grind that we forget how important it is to reflect on what we have achieved that week or

This week I was a guest on “Let’s Talk HR” with James Dean and we had a wonderful conversation with Charlie Winton (Founder of OK Positive Ltd) and we discussed how important it is to not rush during critical moments. I have an example of what I’d do when faced with a tricky situation in the workplace, and that is simple to slow things down and truly review the situation logically and without emotional connotations creeping in. It’s so easy to just answer straight away when we don’t fully understand what the potential outcomes could be. 

It’s the same when I give HR advice, some clients just want to dismiss someone or they want to make a quick decision in critical processes such as redundancy situations. One reason is because they just want the awkwardness over with but the bigger picture presents risks to their business, so I always take the time to explain my methods to my madness. Some clients understand and see those risks, others won’t and that’s ok, we aren’t always going to agree, but it’s how we manage that situation that really matters.

Thinking this way doesn’t come easy, it’s a positive habit that I’ve had to practice often as I have progressed my HR career. If you’re reading this and having a particularly difficult time of late, just take some time, re-evaluate and hit the refresh button, you may notice development opportunities once you have a chance to slow down. 

I hope this post has helped some of you who may need to hear this and if you would like to, feel free to give it a share on social media!

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