Monday, November 24, 2008

Benefits Of Slowing Down

Journalist Carl Honore believes the Western world's emphasis on speed erodes health, productivity and quality of life. But there's a backlash brewing, as everyday people start putting the brakes on their all-too-modern lives.

Right on Carl. We're all speeding and racing through each day usually because there's was no time to methodically plan in the first place and so we've got no choice but to hit the ground running each day, all in an effort to simply catch up! All this Go! Go! Go! and Now! Now! Now! mentality does is perpetuate exhaustion, frustration and fatigue while producing sloppy, half-ass and less than stellar results.

I truly believe we could all benefit from simply slowing things down a bit and focusing on the nuance and details of this beautiful thing we call life.

It's like eating slow and enjoying every bite. Or taking a walk and appreciating the way the light comes through the trees. The result of all this perpetual multi-tasking, more times than not, really means doing several things at the same time - all of them half-ass! Crossing another something off of your to-do list might imply "done", but is it truly finished - i.e. really done well or was it done so quickly that you'll have to go back and "really" finish it later?

"Multi-tasking is going to slow you down, increasing the chances of mistakes," David E. Meyer, a cognitive scientist and director of the Brain, Cognition and Action Laboratory at the University of Michigan, told the New York Times. "Disruptions and interruptions are a bad deal from the standpoint of our ability to process information."

That's not to say that people who have trouble walking and chewing gum at the same time are more enlightened, but most people who have juggled a number of tasks at the same time won't need scientific research to confirm that by doing many things at once, you're less likely to do any of them well.

Like I tell the idiots that sometimes race down our quite little street in an effort to beat the traffic -"Slow Down!"

That's Right,


Thanks to Swiss Miss, Dean Irvine, Carl Honore and all the world's greatest thinkers and doers at Ted.