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Benefits of Slowing Down

graffiti on a wall that says "live, work, create."

All my life I’ve been known as a person with “super energy”– someone who takes on a million things, ploughs through them all, and never slows down. In the past year, I developed an issue with the joints in my feet (the bunion curse of the flat feet, which still ache when I walk despite the orthotic inserts I got) and it’s caused me to slow down when I walk. This has actually been translating into my perspective on life. Slowing down is GOOD– here’s what I mean.

Almost everything in life is better when you do it more slowly. Here are the exceptions, at least the only ones I could think of:

  •  pulling off a band-aid
  •  trying to win a race of some kind
  •  getting a joke (you don’t want to be the one with the super-slow comeback either)

Yes, these things are better done faster.

But isn’t just about everything else better slower?

  • Slowing down when you speak gives the listener time to absorb what you’re saying, and exudes calmness and authority.
  • Slowing down when you listen actually means you are listening.
  • Slowing down when you work improves the quality of your work.
  • Slowing down when you practice a skill gives you precision.
  • Slowing down your movements– when walking, driving, cooking, lovemaking, eating, handwriting, or playing an instrument– is more satisfying!

Now, you might say “but it takes more TIME!”

I am starting to wonder it if actually doesn’t.

When I rush around in the morning getting ready, I inevitably misplace something, such as my keys or my phone, and then have to tear around an extra 5 – 15 minutes maniacally searching for them.

When I juggle to answer emails while cooking dinner, I usually burn something and have to re-cook more.

When I drive too fast, I end up at home without remembering what route I took and the fact that I was supposed to have stopped for a few groceries or at the bank, wasting my time later.

You get the picture.

When I slow down, I feel in control. I feel happy. I feel like no one is yanking my chain and bossing me around or about to punish me for my imperfection. Allowing yourself to move slowly (and I don’t mean procrastination – that isn’t slowness, it’s non-activity altogether) as you create your life experiences gives you freedom.

Why there was such a push to do things fast in my generation, I don’t know. I think we got it wrong.

Do one thing at a time. Take your time. And enjoy the life you’re living.

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About the Author - Jacqueline Drew
Jacqueline M. Drew, BComm, MBA is founder and CEO of Tenato Strategy Inc., a marketing research and strategy firm with bases in Calgary, Vancouver and Toronto. With over 25 years' experience in all facets of marketing strategy, she is a business consultant, trainer and speaker who loves to use her superpowers "to help the good guys win."