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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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Jacqueline Drew
About the Author - Jacqueline Drew
Jacqueline M. Drew, BComm, MBA is CEO of Tenato Strategy Inc., a marketing research and strategy firm with bases in Calgary and Vancouver. She loves to use her superpowers "to help the good guys win" and is also an energetic supermom, songwriter and cross-country skier.