Slowing Down … On Purpose

Article by Dee DeWitt, Edited by Dee DeWitt


Most of us always seem to be in a hurry … rushing to get everything before the day is done.  And every so often, we see someone who never seems to be in a rush, is usually relaxed and not stressed … and yet always seems to accomplish all the things they need to do throughout the day.


This presents a question – Is it possible to never hurry, but to get everything done?


It seems at odds with our modern world, where everything is a rush, where we try to insert as much into every minute of the day as possible, where if we are not busy, we feel unproductive and guilty.


As a matter of fact, the busier we are, the more we tend to wear it as a badge of honor.  I have a five hundred resumes to review!  Really?  I have 2,000!  The winner is the person who has the most insane schedule, who rushes from one thing to the next … because obviously that means he’s the most successful or important.




Not necessarily.  Perhaps we’re emphasizing the wrong point.  We’ve been conditioned to believe that busier is better.  But actually the speed of doing is not as important the focus.


Maybe we’re going at the wrong speed.  Maybe if we are constantly rushing, we don’t perform our job as well, and, miss out on life all at the same time.  Let’s let go of the obsession with speed, and instead slow down, stop rushing, and enjoy life.


So, can we slow down and still get everything done?


Changing Perspective

The first step is a realization that life is better when you move at a more realistic pace, instead of rushing and trying to cram too much into every day.  Instead, focus on getting the most out of every moment.


Is your work better if you’re trying to do 10 things at once, or if you really pour yourself into one important task?


Life as a whole is better if you go slowly and appreciate every moment. That’s the simplest reason to slow down.


Do You Resist Change?

There are always some who admit that it would be nice to slow down, but claim they cannot dio it.  Their job won’t allow it, or they’ll lose income if they don’t do as many projects.  Others suggest living in the city makes it too difficult to go slowly.  It’s a nice ideal if you’re living on a tropical island, or out in the country … but not in the city (where most of us are).  Still others say they have a job that control their schedule … that it’s not realistic for your life.




So take responsibility for your life.  If your job forces you to rush, take control of it.  Make changes in what you do, in how you work.  Work with your boss to make changes if necessary. And if really necessary, you can eventually change jobs.  You are responsible for your life.


If you live in a city where everyone rushes, realize that you don’t have to be like everyone else. You can be different. You can walk instead of driving in rush hour traffic.  You can have fewer meetings. You can work on fewer but more important things.  You can be on your iPhone or Blackberry less, and be disconnected sometimes.  Your environment doesn’t control your life — you do.


I’m not suggesting how to take responsibility for your life, but once you make the decision, the how will likely become apparent over time.


Suggestions for Slowing Down … On Purpose

If you would like to consider specific things each of us can do to slow down and take control of our lives … click on the companion article for this post … The Most out of Every Moment.  In the article are some things to consider and perhaps adopt, if they work for your life.


“If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself but to your own estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.”
-Marcus Aurelius


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Posted on 6 April, 2010 in Balance, Career, Productivity
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