Slow Down to Speed Up

By the time you read this, you will have had enough time to have made and broken your new year’s resolutions — at least I will have!

Do a search on the web on New Year’s resolutions and you’ll find plenty of lists, suggestions, ads for smoking cessation, weight reduction, fitness and other “top ten” resolutions. Ask your friends or relatives what you should put on your list at your own peril.

I am happy to report that my 2015 New Year’s resolution, which was my older son’s recommendation, was to try to go for a walk the first thing in the morning. Doing this helps calm me down for the entire day. I haven’t done it every day (it was raining this morning) but I do it enough that it is therapeutic.

This year I have decided to slow down. “Slow down to speed up” is my mantra for 2016.

Of course, I will also try the usual “lose weight,” “be a nicer person,” “quit procrastinating” (that has been on my list for decades) and “eat better.”

Not on the list is to “give up coffee.” I got a book for my birthday titled The Healing Powers of Coffee. I haven’t read it yet, but I have taken the title to heart. (I am looking for a new book on the healing powers of wine.)

I am not planning on retiring or even cutting back my work hours. That is not the kind of slow down I am planning. (I’m not quite ready to slow down my driving. Cars go 90 MPH for a reason.)

Slow Downs and Stops

Here’s what I am planning to do.

Slow down and observe. I will take notice of everything around me, especially people.

Stop and think before asking a question. I am going to ask myself  if I already know the answer or if I am asking someone else because I am too lazy to think and remember that answer.

Stop plunging into a job before planning. In the morning before work I’ll take some time to plan the workday. Before I begin a new project, I’ll take a few minutes to think about it and plan it.

Slow down the transition from one task to another. I aim to finish one task by completing my documentation and then putting it all away before moving on to something else. To tidy up my workplace, I might even throw away the drafts and notes I no longer need. I might even do that to my electronic files.

Slow down by putting things where they belong. If I fail at this one, my wife, Diane, will bring out this document and remind me I didn’t keep my resolution!

Slow down and enjoy the meal. Enjoy conversations with others and savor the flavors.

Stop trying to do more in a day. I will not try to pack so much into a day that I feel frazzled that 40 difficult tasks didn’t get done. I will try to get a couple of items done, but done better and with less stress to myself.

In My Opinion

Today’s fast pace has infected us with a feeling we must work faster, move faster, do faster.

I think if we slow down, we can get more done that matters.