When you rush, you hit a goal and then you’re on to the next goal. If you keep moving the goalpost, you will always feel rushed.

Instead, set a goal and focus on enjoying the process of achieving that goal instead of hitting that goal. When you enjoy the process more, you will be more excited to work.

As a part of my series about “How to Slow Down To Do More” I had the pleasure to interview Christina Nicholson.Christina is the Owner of Media Maven, and has a podcast, Become a Media Maven. She is a TV host who helps bloggers and business owners grow by reaching thousands, even millions, of their ideal customers or clients in minutes instead of months through the power of traditional and new media without spending big bucks on advertising.

You can see her in front of the camera as a host on Lifetime TV, in national commercials, and read her work online in Huff Post, Thrive Global, Inc. Magazine, and Fast Company.

Christina also has a local lifestyle and family blog, Christina All Day. She lives in South Florida with her husband and two young children.

Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us the “backstory” about what brought you to this specific career path?

I was a TV reporter and anchor for more than 10 years. In that time, I was pitched by countless business owners and publicists. Many of those pitches were terrible. It was very clear that people who wanted media coverage didn’t know how the media industry worked.

When I got out of TV, I worked at a PR agency before starting my own.

Because of my background as a TV reporter and anchor, I focus on media relations only. Due to today’s media landscape, I also work with business owners on other forms of media that overlap with earned media, like video production, blogging, and Instagram management.

I think it’s important to practice what you preach, so everything I do for my clients, I execute successfully for myself.

According to a 2006 Pew Research Report report, 26% of women and 21% of men feel that they are “always rushed”. Has it always been this way? Can you give a few reasons regarding what you think causes this prevalent feeling of being rushed?

I think people feel rushed because the American culture is to do more, quicker. People want to say they’ve hit a goal in (insert a short timeline). This causes people to take shortcuts when they’re rushing and that almost always ends in less success in the long run.

I used to always feel rushed, but I don’t anymore. I’m not a doctor saving anyone’s life. I’m in the media industry. Whenever I feel rushed, I remind myself that what I do is not a life or death matter and I’m my own boss for a reason. That reason is to enjoy what I do and I do NOT enjoy feeling rushed.

Based on your experience or research can you explain why being rushed can harm our productivity, health, and happiness?

When you’re rushed, you’re focusing on getting things done and not enjoying the process. If I wanted to be rushed and stressed out, I’d get a job.

In addition, you’re not being strategic or thorough when you rush. The key to growth is being strategic and strategy = growth.

On the flip side, can you give examples of how we can do more, and how our lives would improve if we could slow down?

I’ve already said it a couple of times, but enjoying the process is key to not only feeling better about your business and life, but also you will feel happier.

When you rush, you hit a goal and then you’re on to the next goal. If you keep moving the goalpost, you will always feel rushed.

Instead, set a goal and focus on enjoying the process of achieving that goal instead of hitting that goal. When you enjoy the process more, you will be more excited to work.

We all live in a world with many deadlines and incessant demands for our time and attention. That inevitably makes us feel rushed. Can you share with our readers 6 strategies that you use to “slow down to do more”? Can you please give a story or example for each?

Set expectations. We are not mind readers, so you need to communicate your expectations and learn the expectations of others when you’re working together. Let your clients and your team know that you only check email three times a day, for example. That way they won’t expect you to respond to them within an hour or two.

Get clear on your goals. The more specific you can get on your goals, the easier it is to achieve them. I have a system I follow that tells me how many times I need to do something to reach my goal. I put that task in my calendar. I’m committed to what’s in my calendar and crossing things off my to do list. When it’s scheduled, it gets done in the time frame it’s scheduled, so there is no reason to rush.

Enjoy the process. This is just something you need to remind yourself to do every day. If you’re not enjoying something, ask yourself why to find a solution to that problem. It may be hiring someone to take over that task or eliminating it completely.

Refer to your team. You don’t need to do everything. Most successful business owners don’t, so don’t forget about other people who know how to execute things on your to do list. They can even be independent contractors who work five hours a month.

Check your ego. Don’t say yes to everything that comes your way because it looks good or will make you look like an “influencer”. I know it’s hard to say no to things, but if you say yes to everything, you will get too many things on your plate sooner or later. When you’re asked to speak, attend an event, or join a program, ask yourself if it will have a direct impact on your business.

Clock out. You can’t work all the time. Even if you like it, you just can’t. You need to clock out. As an entrepreneur, it’s hard. I get it, but set a time to put down your phone and not check email every night. Decide you’re going to take a weekend day off work and do something fun just for you, not your business.

How do you define “mindfulness”? Can you give an example or story?

To me, mindfulness means being in the moment and thinking about whatever is happening in the moment. It’s not watching your child’s soccer game and thinking about work. It’s watching your child’s soccer game and thinking about your child playing soccer.

Can you give examples of how people can integrate mindfulness into their everyday lives?

Just like enjoying the process, I think this one is also going to take some daily reminders. When you’re doing something — cooking, cleaning, working, etc., what are you thinking about? Try not to multitask and have your actions match your thoughts simultaneously.

Do you have any mindfulness tools that you find most helpful at work?

My mind. I am constantly reminding myself to be in the moment. This will also help you enjoy the process more too.

What are your favorite books, podcasts, or resources that inspire you to use mindfulness tools or practices?

Oh my goodness. Where do I start? I read so many books and listen to so many podcasts. I love the 12-Week-Year for clear goal setting. Profit First helps me feel organized. Building a StoryBrand, both the book and the podcast, ensure I’m working with the right strategy so I’m not wasting anytime. Smart Passive Income by Pat Flynn is my all time favorite podcast because the knowledge shared is very actionable.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“Figure out how to get paid for what you like doing.” Now, you obviously need to be good at what you like doing or else no one will pay you for it, but I think this is important because you want to enjoy the process. (Are you seeing a theme with me here?)

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I’d like to see people have conversations not to respond, but to understand. Too many people want to be right. Instead of being right, try to learn.

Thank you so much for these insights! This was so inspiring!

About the Author:

After 15 years working in Commercial Real Estate in New York City, Ashley Graber changed the coast she lived on and the direction of her life from Real Estate to the worlds of Psychology and Meditation & Mindfulness. Ashley came to these practices after getting sober and in the decade plus since, she now runs a busy mindfulness based psychotherapy practice at Yale Street Therapy in Santa Monica, CA where she see adults and children and speaks on the benefits of meditation and mindfulness practices.

Ashley is an Owner and Director of Curriculum for the next generation meditation app & mindfulness company ‘Evenflow’ and launched the company’s one to one online mindfulness mentoring program. Ashley also educates teachers and administrators in schools and presents in businesses across Santa Monica and Los Angeles.

Ashley was trained in Meditation and Mindfulness practices by prominent teachers; Elisha Goldstein, Richard Burr and Guiding teacher at Against the Stream Boston, Chris Crotty. Her Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) certification was done through The Center for Mindfulness at UC San Diego. Additionally, Ashley is trained by Mindful Schools to teach Meditation and Mindfulness practices to children and families. Ashley’s unique combination of psychotherapy, trauma reprocessing and meditation and mindfulness practices make her a sought after therapist and mindfulness educator and speaker. Her passion for the benefits of mindfulness practices as well as her enthusiasm for helping young kids and adults is the drive to teach these very necessary, life long skills and why she wrote and runs the Mindfulness for Families program at The Center for Mindful Living. This is where she teaches groups of families with children ages 6–12. Ashley was featured on Good Morning LaLa Land, presented on Resilience at the renowned Wisdom. 2.0 Mindfulness & Technology conference, and presented at the TED Woman conference offering an in-depth look at the profound psychological and physiological consequences of chronic stress, and how meditation and mindfulness practices can alleviate these effects.