In our culture it usually takes something health related before we consider slowing down, doesn’t it? Let’s face it, the word “slow” has negative connotations doesn’t it? I mean who ever came in first by going slow? You are on to me aren’t you? You are expecting me to remind you of the tortoise and the hare...well you aren’t to far off.
The other day I noticed that I have slowed down, physically slowed down. I have long legs and have always had this wicked fast stride, but these days I don’t seem to be moving very fast. People actually pass me on the sidewalk. I can’t tell you that I consciously decided to slow my pace down, it just sort of happened. And I like it.
It doesn’t mean that I don’t get places on time or that I get less done, in fact I think I am on time more often, I know I am more productive and I definitely enjoy more of what is happening around me. For me, life is better now that I have slowed down.
I while back I wrote a post about the impact of multi-tasking, just one example of how we negatively impact our lives when we try to do too much too fast. I have also talked about the importance of truly disconnecting so that we can be present with the ones we love.
But what I have failed to notice is that I was really talking about slowing down. And there are full fledged international movements dedicated to Slow. The Slow Food movement, which has thousands of members around the world is dedicated to getting us to not only slow down and enjoy the food we eat, but also to step back and revisit the way it is produced.
According to Carl Honore, the Slow Movement goes beyond food to how we live our lives, run our cities and even run our corporations. So much speed in our daily lives from speed dating to speed yoga is actually causing a back-lash. I hope you take time to watch the video I posted and check out his web site, Carl’s message on slow is one I think more of us need to hear.
Slow isn’t always easy. I sort of stumbled into it in my attempt to create a better life and more rewarding career. It seems funny now to realize that all I really needed to do was slow down and take on less. But to go slow, to have time to enjoy the breeze and gaze in the shop windows as I walk to a meeting means I need to leave earlier. And to leave earlier means I need to have less to do in the mornings which usually requires more planning to ensure it all fits in and for me it has meant doing less and saying no. Like Carl, it means sometimes I turn off my phone and I don’t say yes to every project I am asked to work on.
Just this afternoon a funny thing happened, I had a flurry of urgent changes from a client, and although I addressed what I could immediately there was one thing I couldn’t change without the help of a graphic resource, something I didn’t have access to this Friday before a long weekend (the client knew we were closed). Rather than stress out about not being able to fix everything instantly, I headed off to the park to see my daughters play (something I had promised to do). When I got back the I found an email from the client saying they changed their mind - the graphic change was no longer required. Makes me wonder if they had slowed down in the first place maybe none of these last minute panic changes would have been needed.