I listened to a great TED talk the other day by Carl Honore entitled, ”In Praise of Slowness”after his best selling book. As stated by TED, “Honore believes the western world’s emphasis on speed erodes health, productivity, and quality of life.” I also recently heard him interviewed on CBC radio by broadcaster Alan Maitland, where Honore offers us a challenge to slow things down or at least find our “right” speed. The default speed for many of us in this ultra-connected, hyper-consumerist, work-driven society is fast, so he orients his challenge toward slowing down. Slowing down can not only improve our health and well being, but also our productivity, our energy, and our relationships. Here is Honore’s 3 step challenge to help you discover your “right” speed:
- Check-in with yourself several times a day regarding your speed. Do this as often as you care to, and ask yourself the question, “Am I doing this (eating, conversation, task at hand, driving, etc) faster than I need to? If so, can I notch it down just a bit and see what happens?”
- Schedule unscheduled time each day.We live in such a highly scheduled, time-efficient society. So much so, that we sometimes have problems taking advantage of the spontaneous. This is not about a time you plan to meet a friend or go for a run! You schedule that right?! This is about a time you reserve and put absolutely nothing in it until you arrive to that time, and just be with yourself, to be contemplative or whatever serendipity offers. Experiment with the amount of this time and see what it does to your productivity in other departments of your life….some discover they are more intentional and have to fill fewer holes they could have avoided digging in the first place!
- Take a technology break once or more times each day. Just turn it off. Perhaps it could be when you are with a friend, or especially during your unscheduled time above, or maybe when you are trying to focus on an important task for work, or when you are doing an activity you love to do, and could enhance the engagement-factor by not being distracted for a change. Discover how smart you are regarding your “smart” phone. Who is in charge here? See what it does to your experiences to learn how to not be thinking about everything else except what is in front of your right now.
I look forward to seeing you next time you visit us,