In the previous piece, we covered the meaning of Slow and what that means for us in the fast-paced lifestyle of the 21st century. Now, we’ll talk about the long-term benefits of practicing Slow.
Being slow is not about being slow, but what it enables us to do. Here are some benefits of slow living:
Only when we slow down can we be mindful of things around us. In this mindset, we are more mindful of our choices and the things we do, we are more purposeful in our actions, and we make better decisions.
Slowing down can help us be more in touch with our selves, and it can also help us control our emotions without letting them get the better of us.
Slowing down helps us pause more and reflect, which in turn helps us make better decisions since we are intentional with our actions. What we think is more in congruence with what we do and what we say. This creates higher chances of living and practicing integrityand being principle-centered.
By slowing down, we give ourselves the space to think things through. We are focused less on the doing of things and more on the thinking part, which is far more important (self-leadership).
When we slow down, we no longer feel like a slave to time. We feel that there is enough time for doing things, partly because we are not trying to do it all. We no longer feel rushed even though we might have an exciting life because we have set aside enough time for things that are important to us.
We end up hurrying less, achieving more, and living better. Because we have thought about how we are going to spend our time, it’s only about showing up to do that thing at that time and getting immersed in it completely. At work, this might mean working fewer hours and getting the right work done. It could also mean working and playing consistently since we need both.
Because we are not trying to do everything, we are giving our complete attention to the few things that matter. This way, we end up doing those few things better.
Ironically, slowing down helps us achieve many things. We need to slow down in order to speed up. Speed is the result of organization and discipline, which comes with being slow.
We slow down in order to get only the right things done, and we slow down in order to escape to focus and to keep that flow.
When we slow down, we spend less time at work, we get the right work done, and the quality of our work goes up in terms of our performance and creativity. It’s a win-win-win for you, your boss, and the organization.
Visual artists have always known that the process of creating things cannot be rushed because making things takes its own time and the process is non-linear. So, as artists, we need time in between things to renew ourselves in order to be more creative and productive and make our best work happen.
When we work slowly and intentionally, we seem to have more time. We seem to get a lot done without worrying about what we’re not doing. It’s a great place to be in the zone. We end up doing only one thing at any given time, and that improves our focus a lot. We understand that when we have said “yes” to one thing, we’re implicitly saying “no” to everything else during that time. This is a simple thing that most people fail to understand when making commitments. Of course, just because it’s simple doesn’t mean it’s easy.
Things get done when we slow down, relax, and make peace with the fact that we can’t do it all. We know that we can do anything but not everything. Therefore, we must make good choices, and there will always be tradeoffs that come with making choices.
Now that we know there are these benefits to living Slow, the next step is to figure out how to put it into practice so that it becomes a way of being. In the next draft, I discuss the mindset of Slow and some strategies for living effectively and sustainably.