Saturday, February 2, 2008

Suggestion: Slow Down Sometimes

coffemugthat says Slow Down, Do Less

Carl Honore tells how he realized he need to slow down: "My life had become an endless race against the clock. I was always in a hurry, scrambling to save a minute here, a few seconds there. My wake-up call came when I found myself toying with the idea of buying a collection of One-Minute Bedtime Stories. Suddenly it hit me: my rushaholism has got so out of hand that I'm even willing to speed up those precious moments with my son at the end of the day. There has to be a better way, I thought, because living in fast forward is not really living at all."

Now he's written a book called In Praise of Slow (or In Praise of Slowness, in the U.S.) - I haven't read it yet, but it looks good. He's also given a talk at the annual conference called TED; you can watch the 19 minute video.

For those who would like to experiment with slowing down, Carl has these suggestions:
1. Leave holes in the diary rather than striving to fill every moment with activity. Easing the pressure on your time will help you to slow down.

2. Set aside a time of day to turn off all the technology that keeps us buzzing - phones, computers, pagers, email, television, radio. Use the break to sit quietly somewhere, alone with your thoughts. Or try meditating.

3. Make time for at least one hobby that slows you down, such as reading, painting, gardening or yoga.

4. Eat supper at the table instead of balancing it on your lap it in front of the TV.

5. Always monitor your speed. If you're doing something more quickly than you need to simply out of habit, then take a deep breath and slow down.
For more ideas or inspiration, you can read or listen to the following:
- Simon & Garfunkel
- The Slow Movement
- Slow Down Now
- NPR This I Believe Series: The Practice of Slowing Down
- Slow Down: Getting More out of Harvard by Doing Less (PDF)