In+Praise+of+SlownessAre you multi-tasking, skimming everything, and moving too fast for real effectiveness, satisfaction, and safety? I am.

I had a real scare this weekend. On Saturday, I was heating up chili for lunch, getting a crock-pot going for dinner, making a noon meal for my sick dog, and racing to be ready for the real estate agent to arrive in 30-minutes. My dog rang the bell on the back door to go out, and I turned to fill that request, tripped on the stairs down to my garden room and flew like “superwoman” onto my hands and face. I was very lucky not to break my front teeth.

After I was bandaged up, I spent the rest of the weekend looking beaten up and thinking about how fast I move to “do it all.” I dug out my copy of this great book by Carl Honore In Praise of Slowness.

We all know it. Our corporate and personal lives are too busy, rushed, and pressured for results. The first three chapters of the book are  entitled:

  • The Age of Rage: It’s not just that we are too pressured, we are impatient and angry. Does you blood pressure go up with uncontrollable things like a truck blocking your path or a web page not opening instantly?
  • Faster Is Better: For hundreds of years, we have been on a path to more efficiency, bigger results, and more of everything. Technology has allowed us to fuel that process, but we were already on the path with the ancient advancement of recording time in smaller and smaller increments.
  • Slow is Beautiful: Honore talks about a Slow movement that has been initiated in pockets across the globe. People taking some control over eating meals more slowly, talking to children with leisure, thinking more deeply…and slower sex (imagine that!).

OK, that’s all for my rant.

I don’t think any one of us will change our company or client organizations  in any big way anytime soon. But, I do think we each have more control over the “faster is better” aspects of our lives.

The first one I’m going to start paying attention to is walking more slowly. What could you do the slow down in a meaningful way?