In defense of slow

Time flies and you are the pilot. One of those quotes that sounds so banal, yet makes a lot of sense. Today is a Monday and everyone asked me the standard question: how was your weekend. My answer: it was fast, I think I need another weekend tomorrow! The only thing I remember about the last two days is that I remember almost nothing. There was some writing and some reading and some going out. Ever had that awesome feeling when you frantically wake up to realize it’s a Saturday. I had this frantic feeling of waking up like it was Saturday and awesome, but it was really Monday. Now, I love Mondays as much as all other days,  but something about that weekend left me wondering where all the time went.

 

We have all been there. Counting down to the vacation. Excited- buckled up and flying home. Counting the countless days at home. And then, Bam! Yeah, there’s a noise like that. You are in the flight again, heading back from home or a vacation. How are weekends and vacations so fast? It’s the same number of hours! Why couldn’t the days pass with the same slowness as the ones that preceded the arrival of my iPhone. Well, there’s a lot of research to tell you why our mind behaves like that and I haven’t read any of them. Because, let’s face it. We all know the answer: enough of the mindfulness lessons already. I am not going to tell you about the importance of mindfulness although in a sadist sense, I hope I have convinced you that’s what matters. But, the larger point of this post is to tell you why slow is the new productive.

 

That weekend was productive. I was always doing something.  Occupied. Committed. Engaged. But, here’s the Million rupee question: with what? Don’t quite know! Somehow, I associated the time passing fast as being productive. Because that’s the image of productivity we have in our heads. Holed in a corner, surrounded by a lot of paper, wearing a sweatshirt and staring intently at the screen – coding or something.    Paradoxical as it sounds, productivity calls for being slow. The word slow has come with a negative connotation. The Google dictionary says it means “not quick or fast”. Sweeeet! The dictionary has this bit that I love, called synonyms- those three magical words I was searching for – “measured, moderate, deliberate”. Now, how do feel about being slow? Remember the hackneyed fable, “Slow and steady wins the race.” One of the three times slow has been used to say something positive (beside slow down when you are driving and eat slowly). That fable has a very powerful lesson on productivity. The tortoise took his time to enjoy the journey to the finish, he saw how the forest looked, the trees, the birds, hear the sounds and basked in the beauty of nature. Okay, all crap. He was actually slow and all of that was a corollary of that. The Tortoise essentially forgot he (she?) was in that race. The Rabbit on the other hand felt his first sprint was enough and took a long nap. In the process he din’t enjoy the journey and he also lost the race. I know I destroyed that fable for you,  but I want to ensure you appreciate the importance of slow. Get a tortoise or something too.  With productivity, slow is the fast. It’s being measured, moderate and deliberate.

So, slow down, rabbit!

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