If your day is a race against the clock and you feel your health, life and work are suffering, literature suggests it might be time to consider working slower. According to Prima.co.uk, taking your foot off the gas once in a while can help you reach your goals in less time and overhaul your health and happiness, because speed kills.
The one area in our lives – and you may think this is not possible – where we should slow down is at work. We live in a culture in which being overworked has become a status symbol, but the slow movement is about shifting people’s values, says Edgar Cahn, a lawyer and leader in the “Slow Movement” in America. The movement is about how we value things other than how fast we can consume and how much we can accumulate.
Consider the consequences of working at a frantic tempo all day. It leaves no time for reflection to solve problems and increases your risk of mistakes. It actually makes you less productive, says Prima.co.uk. Working too hard can also cause health problems, according to Worksmart.org.uk.
Working too long or too hard and not doing anything to counterbalance your work life can create extremely high stress levels. The negative effects of stress are well-known, from high blood pressure to infertility. Indigestion, allergies, migraine, diabetes, ulcers, skin disorders and depression are just some of the conditions that have been linked to stress.
Prima.co.uk suggests that you work smarter and start by speaking to managers about your key goals. You will then be able to spend time on what’s vital and speed through the things that are not. Workload cannot easily be reduced, but if you’re clear about your priorities, you can make sure that you’re spending time on the right things.
So can lowering your tempo make you more productive? Yes, it can, but “slow” does not mean going on strike! And being “laid back” at your desk will not impress your manager either. The real answer is to redesign your working life and Sally O’Reilly gives a few suggestions on how to do this in her article “Life in slow motion”. She says this could be accomplished by focusing and spending the first few minutes planning your day, organising your schedule and doing one thing at a time.
Getting in the right frame of mind is important, says O’Reilly. She suggests to sit down doing nothing or take a short walk each morning, to think about what you want to accomplish that day. And in the evening, use 10 minutes to think about the highlight of the day and what you achieved.
- Blake, J. 2015. “Slow movement wants you to ease up, chill out”. CNN.com, http://edition.cnn.com/2008/LIVING/worklife/06/06/balance.slow.movement//
- Prima.co.uk. 2015. “Join the slow movement and get more done”. Prima April 2015.
- O’Reilly, S. 2008. “Life in slow motion”. Theguardian.com, http://www.theguardian.com/money/2008/may/19/workandcareers.worklifebalance
- Worksmart. 2015. “Can working too hard cause health problems?”. Worksmart.org.uk, https://worksmart.org.uk/careers-advice/working-smarter/work-life-balance/can-working-too-hard-cause-health-problems