Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Time Management Tuesday: Slow Down, You Move Too Fast

Okay, so we're looking into slowing down, by which I mean I'm looking into it. The goal here is to determine whether slowing down can enhance productivity or at least not make you less productive. Does rushing around frantically do you any good?

What Does Slowing Down Mean?


"Slow Work"--A Lifestyle Conquers The Working World describes a "slow work" movement. "By slowing down the work, you give your body the opportunity to regenerate. The general stress level drops as your concentration and creativity rise again. People have more energy resources and performance over the long term."  

It really sounds good. I have questions, though, about what slowing down actually means. Really working slower? With everything? In the same number of hours you had before? The lifestyle article suggests creating a daily schedule and planning more time for each activity then you'd ordinarily expect, taking breaks, and adding relaxation periods to your day. Would doing all that slow you down or would it cause to you take more time to do things because you're doing more?

Slowing Down Can Increase Productivity and Happiness, Part 1 from Psychology Today appears to be more about doing less than in doing the same amount of work but slower. The author says that productivity falls off when working more than 40 hours a week, but isn't that about how much someone is working, not how quickly? He also writes about busyness. Again, doesn't that involve the amount of work someone is trying to do, not how quickly? His material on decision-making really does seem to involve slowing down, mainly because it sounds as if he's suggesting doing more--"taking the time to gather information and alternatives."

Part 2 of his column does more to get into what he calls "slow work"--a philosophy that "challenges the unsustainable practice of doing everything as fast as possible and offers an alternative workplace framework." He includes a lengthy list of slowing down strategies and habits, some of which, again, actually would require more time: meditation (I dabble with this--it takes time), dedicating time for reflection, doing nothing for a while when you wake up (Sad to say, I do this and not for just 10 or 15 minutes, either), walking more instead of driving.

Slow Down! How "Slow Work" Makes Us More Productive in Time covers some of the same material and suggests making more time for ourselves during our workdays. The author admits that it and other strategies he suggests "will take more time because they require conscious efforts to vary existing routines. In other words, they slow us down. But these changes reward us with more time to absorb and process information, which strengthens our long-term professional performance." I'm not sure about that.

Yeah, I know. I sound like that argumentative person in your office who responds to every suggestion for change with "Yes, but..."

What Does Rushing Do?

This happened.
I don't know about anyone else, but rushing gets me into a hole over and over again. That desk over to your right? It looks the way it does right now, because I've been in too much of a hurry to take care of anything. And it's not the first time.  I can feel good about the office, because the laundry/sewing room you can also see to your right is worse. It looks the way it does, because I've been in too much of a hurry to take care of anything in there, too. It's not the first time for that, either.

You can tell by looking at these pictures that I am not a neat freak. My issue with this kind of disorder is that it becomes a time suck. Where is everything? Where is anything? Where is that piece of paper with the list of agents I was planning to submit to? I spent a lot of time working on that this spring. Hope it turns up.

Last week I worked on the table in the dining room, because I didn't have time to clear a space for my laptop.

Why am I rushing around so? Because I'm trying to do a lot of things in the time I have available. How will just doing all those things slower help my situation?

I believe I'll have to do something else.

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