You wait in line at the store. What do you do? Checking status at Facebook, twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn etc.
You are out running. What do you do? Headphones on. Music on.
You are on your lunch break. What do you do? Eat fast food, Fix 15 errands before running back to the next meeting…
In Italy, a movement toward this fast food society took place. A reaction against it. They started Slow Food. Cooked with quality ingredients. With care. It takes time. It should take time. Now you can also find the Go Slow-movement, saying that you make better decisions if you don’t haste it, but instead allocate time for involvement, discussions, and reflections.
For me, this reasoning is a big challenge. I’d rather make a decision and change it along the way, than to stand still. It takes less energy to keep moving than to start from scratch.
But maybe, just maybe, there is something here to ponder about.
The other day, I was out on my normal dog walk with Ms. Waffles (that’s her name). I suddenly decided to lower my pace to about a third. S l o w l y I walked forward. Ms. Waffles didn’t get it. She turned around several times, urging me to move on faster. But I persevered.
What happened? Well, all of a sudden, I started to notice things I wasn’t aware of. Carvings in the trees with little messages. The light reflecting in the water some meters away from the trail. The super-green colors in the leaves.
I had walked the same round for oh so many times, but never really seen it. I had gotten “tunnel-vision” which happens if you move too fast.
Go slow. Literarily. Try it. Feel it, see it, hear it, in a whole new way.
Apply this at work. No full stop, just slower. Choose one opportunity, one problem, one challenge. While solving it, shut down the email and the phone (yes, I am serious).
If you are to present to a group and you normally talk and move fast, especially if you get a bit nervous: Take an extra long pause before you start. Keep pausing when you want something to sink in. Look at all the people. Articulate. Be in control (without loosing energy).
Do it well and skip multitasking. Find your own light in the water, and the little messages carved in the trees around you.
ps – if you already move slowly, talk slowly and think slowly, then these last twenty minutes of reading wasn’t for you. Sorry about that.