Why speed isn’t everything.
Nothing is more difficult for the busy person than to turn it back a notch and slow down.
Slowing down isn’t checking out or filling your mind with distraction. It’s a deliberate state of mind where you make space for quality over quantity, deliberation over haste, and calm over rashness.
Often our anxiousness to complete a task quickly slows us down. For instance, when climbing a long steep hill (what cyclists call a ‘grind’) riders are admonished that ‘slow is fast’. In other words, setting a steady pace will increase your chances of making it to the top without burning out too early. Military special operators have a similar principle, “slow is smooth, smooth is fast”. The emphasis is on doing something slow enough to ensure that it is done correctly…the first time.
If you want to truly increase your productivity and efficiency slow down.
Do you want more effective sales calls? Slow down and practice being fully present in the moment. Do you want to jam through a pile of paperwork? Turn off your email for an hour and silence your phone while you get the job done. Do you want a better relationship with your mate or spouse? Slow down and make the time to talk, laugh, and dream together.
You’re not a machine, and even machines, such as a race car, cannot run continuously at high RPMs without a break. Going fast isn’t always efficient. In fact, sometimes it slows you down as you have to go back and fix the ‘rush job’.
This week, reflect on where you can practice ‘slow is smooth, and in the end, get ‘faster’ and more effective. Embrace the need to slow down a bit to be your best and watch what happens.